In the State of Illinois Parents Can Be Fined 2,000 for Underage Drinking
As the new year begins, the state of Illinois is tightening up their laws in an effort to keep its residents safe. Parents can be fined 2,000 for underage drinking in the state of Illinois. This is an attempt to make the adults more aware of their actions. By letting underage teens drink, they are welcoming in tragedy to their community. Parents and guardians that are considering allowing their teens to host parties with alcohol, in an effort to seem like-able or cool to their teens, will be responsible for more than just the alcohol consumed in the house.
Yes, the argument is kids will be kids and that if they do not get the alcohol here, they will get it somewhere else. The problem is that these kids participating in underage drinking think they are invincible. They do not think alcohol poisoning can happen to them or any of their friends. They do not think that they can die from alcohol poisoning. They also do not think they can die or kill others in a drunken driving accident. Julie Morrison, a Deerfield Democrat, who is in full support of this law, remembers a fatal accident in 2006 involving teenagers drinking and driving. Daniel Bell of Bannockburn and Ross Trace of Riverwoods, who were both 18 years old, were killed after leaving a house party in Deerfield. Bell, who was driving, slammed his car into a tree. He had a blood alcohol level of .132.
This law is not limited to house parties, parents and guardians can be fined up to $2,000 if they allow those under 21 years of age to drink in their vehicles, trailers, campers, boats, or any other type of property they own. If they do allow underage drinking and a death occurs as a result, parents or guardians can be charged with a felony.
The legislation expands the current state law. That state law penalized adults who allowed underage teens to drink alcohol in their houses, but now there will be more serious consequences. This law was not only supported, but was sponsored in the Senate by Julie Morrison, a Deerfield Democrat. The new law, Morrison explains, “tightens up some of the loopholes in the earlier legislation that bans adults from allowing children to drink in their homes.â€
Republican state Senator, Pam Althoff, worked on the original legislation of underage drinking. Althoff stated that, â€œIt became clear in recent years that law enforcement agencies were dealing with not only the situation of teenage vehicular homicides, but also many accidents that were occurring on lakes and rivers.” This is why the law states any property owned by an adult. The legislation, House Bill 4745, is not the only law going into effect. This new law is one of more than 200 new laws that took effect last Thursday, in the effort to raise awareness and hold adults accountable for their roles in underage drinking.