Officials Say New Illinois Law Could Reduce Teen Drunk Driving Accidents

Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, P.C.

New Law Allows Families to Sue Providers of Alcohol or Drugs to Minors

As part of the 2024 wave of new legislation, House Bill 1155 now allows families who have lost loved ones due to a minor under the influence to sue the person who provided the alcohol or drugs to the minor.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, about 25% of fatal teen car accidents involve underage drinking. Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana believes HB 1155 could significantly reduce deaths caused by minors under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but it provides some justification for what happened and holds those responsible,” said Sheriff Caruana. “Hopefully, it will act as a warning, making people realize there are more laws now and they need to think twice, because they will be held accountable both civilly and criminally.”

Sheriff Caruana emphasized that his team will continue to hold those accountable who provide drugs or alcohol to minors, regardless of whether a death is involved.

“These laws are in place to be enforced, and the Sheriff ensures they are implemented as required by the state,” said Major Ashlyn Fernandes of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s tragic when someone passes away in such unfortunate circumstances. We hope this law provides closure for families seeking justice.”

HB 1155 was introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives on January 12, 2023. The bill passed the House two months later in March and was approved by Governor Pritzker at the end of June.

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