618.993.2222 info@lblf.com 1600 West Main Street Marion, IL 62959-1146

Southern Illinois Dram Shop Law

In Illinois, a person who is injured by the actions of an intoxicated individual may bring a personal injury claim against the wrongdoer.  Also, the injured person may bring a civil claim against a vendor who supplied alcohol to the person who caused the injury. These claims are known as “dram shop[1]” claims; the name comes from the fact that alcohol was traditionally sold by a unit of measure called a dram.

Marion Dram Shop Law

The Illinois statute[2] 235 ILCS 5/6-21 provides that an individual who is injured by an intoxicated person is allowed to bring a claim for damages against the alcohol vendor who supplied the alcohol. The claim may be brought for personal injury, property damage, and damage to means of support or loss of society. In Illinois, the vendor supplying the alcohol that caused the intoxication would be the named Defendant.

Marion IL Elements of Dram Shop Law

The components of a dram shop complaint are:

  1. an injury happened to a person or property;
  2. the injury happened within Illinois;
  3. the intoxicated person caused the injury ;
  4. the alcoholic liquor received from the dramshop caused the intoxication;
  5. the seller or giver of the alcohol is a commercial entity;
  6. the action is filed pursuant to the Dramshop Act; and
  7. the damages for injury to person, property, and/or loss of means of support are claimed.

Damages in Carbondale Dram Shop Cases

Illinois law sets a limit on the alcohol vendor’s financial liability in dram shop cases.  As of January 2016, there is a $65,990.23 dollar limit for personal injury and a $80,654.73 dollar limit for lost support and companionship.  Both of these limits are an overall total per incident, not per dram shop. That means that if the alleged intoxicated party drinks at five different restaurants, the five businesses will be jointly responsible for paying the limit. They will not each be responsible for paying separate damages.

For underage customers, liability is even more severe. An amendment to the Liquor Control Act makes serving a minor a criminal offense, whether the alcohol was served in a business or a public location or inside a private home. If the underage patron merely becomes intoxicated, the crime is a misdemeanor. But if the underage drinker goes on to injure himself or herself or a third party, the crime becomes a felony.

Call a Southern Illinois Dram Shop Attorney

If you were injured by an intoxicated person, you may have a legal claim against the vendor that supplied the alcohol. Call the attorneys at the Lawler Brown Law Firm today to discuss your case during a free consultation at 618-993-2222.

Lawler Brown Law Firm
1600 West Main Street
Marion, IL 62959-1146


[1] http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/dram-shop-liability-state-statutes.aspx
[2] http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=023500050K6-21