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Illinois Calls Upon Parents to Help Prevent Underage Drinking and Driving

Every state regulates the conduct of its drivers under the aegis of providing for the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. Recently, however, Illinois has included legislation aimed at parents and adult hosts, laying the responsibility for the supervision of their underage guests directly at their feet. 

Parent advisory: Do not give people under 21 alcoholic drinks at your house  

If you are a parent or a guardian, new legislation effective this year makes it a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of no less than $500, to permit any guests of your child or your ward who are under the age of 21 to consume alcohol in your home or on any other property you own or control. For the purpose of this legislation, it does not matter whether the underage guest appears to be intoxicated. Notably, this provision does not prohibit you from giving alcoholic beverages to underage guests in the performance of a religious ceremony or service in the observation of a religious holiday. If you violate this law and the violation results in an accident that causes great bodily harm or death to any person, you can be charged with a class four felony.

Host advisory: Do not allow people under 21 to “party” at your house        

 If you knowingly authorize or permit your residence to be used by a guest who is under 21 years of age and you know that this guest possesses or is consuming alcohol other than in the performance of a religious ceremony or service in observation of a religious holiday, you can be found guilty of a class A misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than $500. However, if you try to prevent this conduct and are unable to do so, but call law enforcement authorities to assist you before anyone else has made a complaint, then you cannot be found guilty of violating this provision. If a violation of this provision results in death or great bodily harm to any person, you could be charged with a class four felony.

People do make mistakes, particularly when a seemingly innocuous act turns into a serious offense. The Law Offices of Paul Chatzky regularly works with first-time offenders and advocates for alternative programs that reduce penalties or enable them to avoid prosecution entirely.

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Paul Chatzky
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About Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and businesses. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As…

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Deborah E. Chatzky
Paralegal

About Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her…

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