With spring approaching so is graduation season and with it graduation parties. Many people wonder about their responsibility and liability when they serve alcohol in their homes for a graduation party where minors and young adults are attending. The State of Illinois considers a host of the party to be a Social Host or those who supply alcohol gratuitously or out of courtesy or politeness. Generally as a host you would not liable for supplying alcohol; however, when it comes to minors, you can be criminally responsible for supplying alcohol. If a minor drinks in your home, you could be liable and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor among other things.
If your party’s caterer supplies alcohol for your party then under Illinois Statute the Dram Shop Act may apply. This is a statutory made law that changed the common law rule that placed the responsibility on the person that was drinking, additionally place liability upon with the people profiting from the sale of intoxicating beverages. The typical Dram Shop Act states that those who are in the liquor trade (bars, taverns, catering companies, etc.) can be held responsible for innocent third parties who are injured by intoxicated persons. The name Dram Shop comes from the word dram, an old unit of measurement.
With the alcohol laws that are in place in Illinois, it is a good idea to exercise caution when providing alcohol to others, and to NEVER to supply alcohol to minors.