Updated on May 9, 2017 by MAHA Substance Abuse Prevention Program
Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA)’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program is a five-year Drug-Free Community program directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
To prevent substance use among youth (age 12-19) in the McKinley Park neighborhood of Chicago through building community partnerships, assessing the community’s needs and resources, developing strategic plans, implementing and evaluating program/coalition activities for awareness, advocacy, education, and intervention. One of our goals is to promote Social Host Law in Illinois and to prevent the underage drinking and marijuana use among the Asian and Hispanic youth in the McKinley Park community of Chicago.
Social Host Laws in Illinois
“By protecting our youth, we protect our future.”
by Pat Quinn (Illinois Governor)
Underage drinking is not an uncommon occurrence in our society. High school and college students all too frequently have parties where excessive amounts of alcohol are being consumed by minors. This may not be terribly surprising, but it should be alarming. Dangerous consequences can occur when minors drink alcohol or take drugs, including alcohol poisoning and other serious injuries that may result due to overconsumption. Additionally, drunk driving accidents and death may even be possible. Many adults may not realize that they can be held liable under Illinois’s social host liability laws for these consequences.
The Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, signed Public Act 97-1049 into law on August 22, 2012. Adults know it is unacceptable to allow underage drinking in their home. By putting a social host law on the books, we are sending a strong message to all adults that they will be held responsible when allowing this harmful activity.
What is Illinois’ Social Host Liability Law?
In Illinois, the Social Host Law, which went into effect January 1, 2013, holds adults accountable for underage drinking that occurs in the home. There are several parts to this law.
- If parents allow or host a party at their house and provide alcohol to people under age 21 (or if parents know or should have known that their child is drinking alcohol), parents are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. This will result in a fine. Note that parents are held responsible regardless if they are the one who provides the alcohol AND regardless if parents are home or not.
- If a minor who was drinking at parents’ house injures or kills someone, parents are guilty of a Class 4 felony. This could result in both a fine and/or jail time.
- Parents will not be guilty of violating the law if they request help from the police to help remove the underage drinkers and stop the gathering. This only holds if they make the first one to call—not if the police show up after a complaint from a neighbor and then they ask for help.
In addition, depending on local community ordinances, parents may also be held responsible for the costs of emergency services/law enforcement that responds to a call, attorney fees and other costs associated.
Hong Liu – Project Director
Address: 230 W Cermak Rd. 2nd FL Chicago IL 60616
Phone Number: 312-225-8708