Is it Legal for Kids to Drink at Home in Illinois?

If you’re like many parents, you’ve wondered if it’s legal in the state of Illinois for you to let your kids drink at home – provided that they don’t go anywhere and you don’t tell anyone. This guide explains whether you can let your child drink alcohol at home in the state of Illinois.

Is it Legal for Kids to Drink at Home in Illinois?

The state of Illinois’ law says that it’s unlawful for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. That’s true whether they’re at school, at a restaurant or bar, or at a party at a friend’s house. 

Generally, people under the age of 21 who drink alcohol are committing a Class A misdemeanor, which comes with a penalty of up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.

Related: Common questions about juveniles accused of crimes in Illinois

But that changes a little bit when drinking takes place at home, under the supervision of parents. One parent (or a legal guardian) must be with the child. However, even though your child may not be prosecuted for drinking at home while under the age of 21, that doesn’t mean you won’t run into other issues – like someone calling child and family services to report you.

And under no circumstances are you allowed to let children other than your own – or those you’re legally responsible for – drink in your home. When a minor under the age of 21 drinks in your house, you can all get into trouble.

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