Age Requirements and ID Laws for Alcohol in Illinois

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Age Requirements and ID Laws for Alcohol in Illinois

A colleague of mine was at a local bar when he realized that he had forgotten his Illinois Driver’s License. The bartender refused to serve him alcohol and asked him and his friends to leave the bar.

In Chicago, there is a lot of pressure on bartenders and bar owners to card every person who enters into the bar because of the criminal penalties associated with serving individuals under the age of 21. In fact, under Illinois law, all alcohol sellers and servers have the right to refuse to sell or serve alcoholic beverages to anyone unable to produce adequate written proof of identity and age. Importantly, if the bartender would have served my colleague neither the bartender nor the bar owner would likely have suffered a criminal penalty because my colleague was over 21 years old. Written proof of Identification is a way of verifying a person’s age, not a requirement to enter into a establishment that serves alcohol.

Below are some of the penalties the bartender or bar owners face if they serve individuals under the age of 21:

Sales and Delivery:

It is unlawful to sell, serve, deliver or give alcoholic beverages to a person under 21 years of age or to any intoxicated person. A violation of this provision is a Class A Misdemeanor with a minimum $500.00 fine (maximum $2,500.00), a jail sentence of up to one year and the liquor licenses can also be fined, suspended, or revoked.

Illinois law prohibits any person, after purchasing or obtaining alcoholic beverages, from selling, giving or delivering those alcoholic beverages to any individual under the age of 21 years. A violation of this provision is a Class A Misdemeanor, with a minimum $500.00 fine (maximum $2,500.00), a possible jail sentence of up to one year, and the liquor licenses can also be fined, suspended, or revoked.

It is unlawful to sell, give or deliver alcohol to an intoxicated person. A violation of this provision is a Class A Misdemeanor, with a minimum $500.00 fine (maximum $2,500.00), a possible jail sentence of up to one year, and the liquor licenses can also be fined, suspended, or revoked.

Purchase/Possession/Consumption:

Illinois law prohibits the consumption of alcoholic liquor by any person under 21 years of age, which is a Class A Misdemeanor. The person under 21 years of age is subject to a minimum $500.00 fine.

A person under the age of 21 is prohibited from possessing alcoholic beverages on the street, highway or any public place or in any place open to the public. Violation of this provision is a Class A Misdemeanor. Underage person is subject to a minimum $500.00 fine and (if applicable) additional enhanced penalties for illegal transportation of open liquor.

Illinois law prohibits persons under 21 years of age from purchasing, possessing, consuming and/or accepting a gift of alcoholic beverages, except under the direct supervision and approval of the parent(s) in the privacy of a home or during a religious ceremony. Violation of this provision is a Class A Misdemeanor. The person under 21 years of age is subject to a minimum $500.00 fine and 25 hours of community service, preferably as part of an alcohol abuse prevention program.

For more information regarding Illinois Liquor laws check out Just the Facts. If you or a friend is charged with a violation of Illinois Liquor Laws contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates, LLC, by email (Richard@fenbertlaw.com) or by telephone (630 917-2051).