Under an Illinois law known as the Dram Shop Act, persons injured by intoxicated persons can recover damages from establishments licensed to sell liquor by the State of Illinois which sold or gave liquor to the intoxicated person. However, the amount recoverable in damages is capped. That amount is adjusted annually in accordance with a consumer price index.
State Comptroller Dan Hynes, whose office does the calculations regarding the Dram Shop Act cap, recently released the revised figures for 2007. For all accidents occurring on or after Janaury 20, 2007, the maximum amount of damages recoverable by an injured person under the Dram Shop Act is $56,302.45. The maximum damages recoverable for loss of support or loss of society is $68,814.11.
The Illinois Dram Shop Act provides an important avenue of recovery for persons injured by drunk drivers. Under the Dram Shop Act, proof of negligence on the part of the dram shop (the stablishmnet selling the alcohol) is not required. All that is required is proof that the establishment sold intoxicating beverages to the intoxicated person.