Illinois Dram Shop Act Get your
Free Consultation
Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers

May 10, 2019

Illinois Dram Shop Act

The Illinois Dram Shop Act (235 ILCS 5/6-21) (the “Act”) generally imposes liability upon anyone whose sale or gift of liquor contributes to the intoxication of a person who hurts another. The Act also allows for the owners or lessors of buildings to be held liable when they know alcohol will be dispensed on the property. In order to prevail on a claim under the Act, the plaintiff must prove:

(1) the alleged intoxicated person was intoxicated at the time of the occurrence;

(2) the defendant, by and through its owners, agents, or employees, provided intoxicating liquor consumed by the wrongdoer;

(3) the liquor provided by the defendant caused the wrongdoer’s intoxication;

(4) the wrongdoer’s intoxication was at least one cause of the incident; and

(5) as a result of the incident, the plaintiff suffered injury.

The Act’s intent is to place responsibility for damages caused by intoxicating liquor on those who profit from its sale, and the Act should be liberally construed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people from the dangers of the traffic in liquor. Graham v. United National Investors, Inc., 319 Ill. App. 3d 593, 597-98 (2001).

Potential Recovery is Limited

However, the amount a plaintiff can recover is limited under the Act and is adjusted annually according to the consumer price index.  For causes of action involving persons injured, killed, or incurring property damage on or after January 20, 2019, the judgment or recovery for injury to the person or property shall not exceed $70,091.09. For causes of action under the Act for either loss of means of support or loss of society resulting from the death or injury of any person on or after January 20, 2019, the judgment or recovery shall not exceed $85,666.89.

1 Year Statute of Limitation

The Act is unique in that a claim must be brought within 1 year after it arose or it will be barred. A typical negligence claim for injuries in Illinois must be brought within 2 years.

No Claim Under the Act for Injuries or Death of Intoxicated Person

The Act also does not confer a cause of action for injuries to the intoxicated person himself or for loss of means of support or society of any person claiming to be supported by such intoxicated person or claiming the society of such person.

Other Potential Claims May Arise Outside the Act

No claim arising from the sale or provision of alcohol exists in Illinois outside of the Act. While the Act preempts all claims arising from the provision of alcohol, it does not foreclose other claims based on legal theories independent from the defendant’s provision of alcohol.  For example, Illinois courts have upheld tavern liability based on the actions of the tavern after the patron became intoxicated, including Harris v. Gower, Inc., 153 Ill. App. 3d 1035, 1037-38, 506 N.E.2d 624, 624-25, 106 Ill. Dec. 824 (1987), where bar employees placed an intoxicated, unconscious patron in his car in which the patron later froze to death.

Dram shop claims often require quick action to preserve relevant evidence to support the claim and hold all responsible parties accountable.  If you or a loved one have been hurt or a loved one has been killed by an intoxicated person, we’re here to discuss the matter with you.

In The News

Mar 01
What Is a Truck Driver’s Travel Log?

Truck drivers have a huge responsibility when they’re operating their fully loaded, 80,000-pound vehicles. When you or a loved one is involved in a collision with a truck, you can… Read More

VIEW ALL NEWS
Do Helmet Laws Impact Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
Jan 01

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be wondering how helmet laws could affect your insurance claim or lawsuit. Even though helmets are not required by… Read More

How to Request an Accident Report
Dec 01

Requesting a police report after a car accident is one of the most critical steps you can take. It might contain the details you need to show another driver’s actions… Read More

Five Tips for Safe Travel During the Holidays
Nov 01

December is one of the busiest times of the year on the road. As increased numbers of people travel to spend time with their loved ones over the holidays, the… Read More

How Are Truck Accidents Different from Other Auto Accidents?
Oct 15

We need the trucking industry to help make our lives easier. Trucks deliver our groceries and our goods. They deliver fuel for our vehicles and provide a livelihood for many… Read More

Testimonials

Custy Law Firm has redeemed the reputation lawyers face in the legal field. I’m so grateful for their professionalism, their communication skills as well as their knowledge of the law.… Read More

- Yolonda M

Brian and his team were extremely helpful to us in resolving our case (related to personal injury from a traffic accident).  Brian listened to what our goals were for the… Read More

- Saroj S.

As a medical professional, I would like to testify that Mr. Brian Custy is the best attorney I met in Indiana. I trust his knowledge, experience, and professionalism. The firm… Read More

- Fei L.

From the first visit at Custy Law , I felt completely comfortable that my Auto accident would be taken care of. It was as if a huge weight was lifted… Read More

- Glenn H.

I am extremely happy with the quality of service and guidance I have received with Custy. His staff are amazing and he is very professional and down to earth. He… Read More

- Erin C.

Custy Law Firm provides the highest level of professional and ethical services to its clients. Brian Custy and staff are deeply committed to obtaining justice for those harmed by the… Read More

- Lisa C.

My experience with The Custy Law Firm has been nothing short of fantastic. I knew very little after PA school regarding the reading, understanding, and negotiating of contracts when accepting… Read More

- Monica B.

We’ve known Brian for a long time and he’s excellent on many levels. He has always focused on learning, achieving his goals, and operating ethically. He’s friendly, hard-working, very professional,… Read More

- Jenne C.

Brian Custy helped me at a time I needed someone I could trust.  He was attentive, positive, thorough, knowledgeable, and professional in every exchange.

- Judy M.

To some they would think my case as minimal. Custy Law Firm treated me with the most respect and consideration. Thank you CLF.

- William C.

I originally tried to use our legal counsel from my union. I was getting lowball offers, and after I refused to accept their offer, I was fired by my very… Read More

- RYAN D.

Since day one i have received the best service that anybody can ask for. Mr. Custy and Melissa have been such caring and trustworthy people. They really make you feel… Read More

- Joel Marquart

“Mr. Custy is an excellent lawyer that not only takes care of business but actually takes the time to listen to his clients. Mr. Custy cares and that is why… Read More

- CARLOS G

I have had the pleasure of working with Attorney Custy for the past two years on two cases at the same time. This has been the hardest thing I have… Read More

- ANGIE R.

“Brian Custy is a terrific lawyer that takes the time to walk you through the entire process, explaining all of the details that often times get overlooked. His follow-up was… Read More

- COREY O.

“Mr. Custy is a very good lawyer. He goes out of his way to make sure he is doing the best he can for your case. He is always there… Read More

- ALICE B.

“ Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers has gone above and beyond while working on my case. I was injured on the job and Brian has given me… Read More

- TIFFANY G.
View All Testimonials
National Association of Distinguished Counsels
Illinois State Bar Association Logo
Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys
National Trial Lawyers top 100 Attorneys Logo
NTL Top 10 for Trucking Litigation
National Institute for Trial Advocacy
Indiana Trial Lawyers Assocation
Trial Lawyer's College Thunderhead Ranch Logo
American Association for Justice Logo
American Association for Justice Logo

GET YOUR FREE

CASE EVALUATION