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A Friend Attends Your Holiday Party; Leaves; and Injures Someone; Are You Liable?

No.  This is why. Illinois does not impose liability on social hosts.  It’s important to note that Illinois law does provide limited liability for social hosts if the intoxicated person is under the legal drinking age of 21 years. For instance, it is unlawful in Illinois not only to provide alcohol to a minor, but to pay for a hotel room or other venue in which the person who is paying knows that minors will be drinking.  It is important to note, however, if someone is injured on your property you may still face a premise liability. 

If you are a bar owner, you can be held liable for any injury after a patron leaves your establishment.  Illinois law allows a person who is injured by an intoxicated person to bring a claim for damages against the alcohol vender who supplied the alcohol.  The claim may be brought for personal injury, property damage, and damage to means of support or loss of society.

Unlike many other states, Illinois does not require the vendor to have continued to serve alcohol even after the defendant became visibly or obviously intoxicated. It is enough that the vendor supplied the alcohol that caused the intoxication that played a part in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.

In order for an Illinois dram shop claim to succeed, the injured person must show that:

  • the person who caused the injury was intoxicated at the time the injury occurred
  • the vendor sold or gave alcohol to the intoxicated person, who consumed it
  • the alcohol consumed by the intoxicated person caused his or her intoxication
  • the injuries resulted, at least in part, from the intoxication, and
  • as a result, the injured person suffered personal injuries or damage to property.

If you have or a loved one were injured by an intoxicated driver or were injured on the property of another, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Hipskind & McAninch at 618-641-9189 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.

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