Anyone who is arrested for drunk driving in Illinois faces harsh criminal penalties, including drivers who are under 21 years of age. In fact, since young and inexperienced intoxicated drivers pose the greatest risk on the road than any other age group, there are certain laws in every state to deter such behavior.
Illinois has a "Zero Tolerance Law” that says any driver under 21 with any amount of alcohol in their system is subject to administrative penalties, such as driver’s license suspension. In other words, if an underage driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .00 percent, he/she will be penalized.
Having a BAC of more than .00 percent but below .08 percent if punishable by license suspension for up to three months. If an underage driver had their license suspended for a previous failed chemical test, then the suspension period lasts up to one year.
If an underage driver refuses to take a post-arrest chemical test, license suspension will last up to six months. If a driver had their license suspended for a previous test refusal, then the suspension period lasts up to two years.
On the other hand, if an underage driver has a BAC of at least .08 percent, then a failed test is punishable by a six-month license suspension or a one-year suspension for a first-time refusal. If an underage driver has a prior DUI conviction or license suspension within the past five years, then the current license suspension will last up to one year for a failed test or three years for refusal.
Regarding criminal penalties, underage drivers may face a jail sentence of up to one year, fines not exceeding $2,5000, and driver’s license suspension – separate from the administrative suspension – for two years. In addition, they may be sentenced to participate in the Youthful Intoxicated Drivers’ Visitation Program, as well as alcohol/drug evaluation and treatment.
If you or your child has been arrested for an underage DUI in Chicago, contact the Law Office of Steven Fine today at (312) 436-0638 for a free initial consultation. Get a skilled criminal defense lawyer with more than two decades of experience on your side!