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Parents who serve alcohol to minors are financially liable for damages under Illinois law

Under Illinois law, adults who willfully provide alcohol to persons under 18 years of age are civilly liable for death or injuries caused by a minor’s intoxication. If a child was killed in a car crash because he was intoxicated, the adults who served the child would still be liable if a wrongful death lawsuit was filed.

Of course criminal repercussions accompany this conduct too, illustrated by the recent jury verdict in Lake County finding a Deerfield couple guilty of allowing underage drinking in their basement last October where two of the guests were killed in a car accident after leaving the couple’s home.

Yesterday, two Cook county parents were cited for permitting a minor to become intoxicated. The parents would have also been responsible for any death or injury that came as a result of their serving these minor’s alcohol.