1701 East Lake Avenue, Suite 200
Glenview, Illinois 60025




Does Illinois Have a Dram Shop Law? 

Posted on in Car Accidents

shutterstock_510633088.jpgWhen a drunk driver causes injury to a victim, that victim not only can pursue damages from the drunk driver, but they can also pursue damages from the establishment that sold the alcohol to that driver. This action can be done under the Illinois Liquor Control Act. The majority of these actions occur as a result of drunk driving accidents; however, there are some other scenarios where the law could also apply.

Dram Shop Law

Under the Illinois Liquor Control Act, as referred to as the Dram Shop Act, any person who is injured (or the victim’s family if the victim is killed) due to the actions of an intoxicated individual can pursue legal action against any party licensed to sell alcohol who caused the intoxication by selling or giving alcohol to the individual. Affected parties can be:

  • An establishment, such as a bar or restaurant, that sells alcohol to individuals who consume the alcohol on the premises.

  • A person 21 years of age or older who pays for a hotel room with knowledge that it will be used for the consumption of alcohol by a person under 21 years of age when such alcohol is consumed on the premises

  • People who own, rent, lease, or permit occupation of a building or property with the knowledge that alcohol will be sold at the property when such alcohol is consumed on the premises. 

Proving Dram Shop Liability

In order to be successful, an injured person must prove that the:

  • Establishment sold alcohol to the person who caused the damage or injury

  • Establishment was the proximate cause of the person becoming intoxicated

  • Injuries or damages were caused by the intoxicated person

  • Intoxication was at least one cause of the resulting damage or injury

It is important to note that there is no requirement under Illinois law that the establishment knew or had reason to know that the person was already intoxicated before serving them alcohol in order to hold the establishment liable.

The amount of damages that can be recovered is limited. Illinois law requires the Comptroller to adjust the liability limits in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) during the preceding 12-month calendar year. For injury, death, or property damage that occurred on or after January 20, 2022, the amount of damages recoverable cannot exceed $77,787.30. Claims for the loss of means of support or society cannot exceed $95,073.37.

Contact a North Shore Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, make sure you receive all of the financial compensation you may be entitled to under the law. Call Gruzmark Law, Ltd. at 847-729-7660 to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated Glenview, IL drunk driving accident lawyers.





Back to Top