Compatible with mobile devices and tablets
Toggle menu

Steer Clear of Legal Liability with an Illinois BASSET Card

April 19, 2024
Avoid Legal Liability With A BASSET Card

Almost anyone working with alcohol in Illinois, from bar staff to convenience store cashiers, requires an Illinois BASSET (Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training) card.

This mandate is understandably driven by the need to minimize the risks associated with serving alcohol. While employers face severe legal and financial repercussions for noncompliance, it’s crucial to remember that individuals also can face substantial consequences for selling or serving alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons.


Civil Liabilities & The Dram Shop Law

Illinois’ Dram Shop Act holds establishments that serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons liable for the damages those patrons cause. Based on this legal principle, harmed individuals can seek significant compensation.

Under Illinois dram shop law, the amount you can recover was capped between $82,805 and $101,206, depending on the specific circumstances, for judgments on or after January 20, 2023. Note that plaintiffs must file their suit within one year of the incident.

While the law focuses on the responsibility of the establishment, it’s worth noting that servers and bartenders aren’t entirely shielded. A harmed person has the right to pursue legal action against anyone they wish, including individual employees. Lawsuits against employees are not bound by the same award caps or time limits applicable to dram shop suits.


Criminal Liabilities

In Illinois, selling alcohol to a minor is a serious offense. It carries the potential for up to a year in jail and the permanent burden of a criminal record. The consequences can severely impact future employment prospects and other aspects of life.


Illinois Liquor Control Commission

To curb alcohol-related incidents, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) routinely conducts unannounced compliance checks at establishments throughout the state. These checks make sure that businesses and their employees adhere to liquor laws, including those prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors.


Illinois Legal Cases

Recent cases highlight the real-world impact of establishments and employees violating laws surrounding alcohol sales:


Express Liquors, Peoria

A lawsuit seeks to hold this establishment liable for its alleged role in a fatal drunk driving accident involving an underage individual. Express Liquors also faces scrutiny for previous citations related to underage alcohol sales.


The Lake County Crackdown

In October 2023, authorities cited seven establishments in Lake County for selling alcohol to minors. This case emphasizes the ongoing enforcement of laws against underage alcohol sales.


Illinois Liquor Control Commission Report

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) conducts periodic, unannounced compliance checks around Illinois monthly.  In the most recent report, made public in January of 2024, 14 violations of liquor control laws were found out of 73 total businesses visited.


BASSET On The Fly Offers An Enjoyable, Affordable and Self-Paced Certification

Proactive steps are crucial to avoid the undesirable legal scenarios we’ve explored. BASSET certification, like the course from BASSET On The Fly, is a powerful tool for minimizing risk.

Our comprehensive online training course covers essential serving skills like identifying signs of intoxication, creating strategies for refusing service to minors or intoxicated customers, and a thorough understanding of Illinois alcohol laws.

Successful completion of a BASSET course provides you with the knowledge and your BASSET card — proof you take responsible alcohol service seriously, and a sign of your willing and ongoing commitment to proper procedures and the safety of everyone involved.

Alcohol service is a big responsibility. By understanding Illinois liquor laws, the consequences of noncompliance — and getting BASSET certified with BASSET On The Fly — you protect yourself, your establishment, and the larger public. And that’s something worth celebrating.

Enroll today for our On-Premise or Off-Premise course!

Back to Blog