Underage Drinking and Driving Results in Harsh Penalties in Illinois
Convictions for DUI in Illinois are never a walk in the park, but the consequences for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs become even more serious for drivers who are under 21. If you’re being summoned to Bridgeview Courthouse or Markham Courthouse on charges based on Illinois’ so-called zero tolerance laws, it is important to make sure you’re represented by an attorney you can trust to defend you. Read on to learn more about drinking and driving penalties for those under 21, and speak with an experienced Homewood criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after being charged with a DUI.
Zero Tolerance Law
Illinois has made it illegal for drivers under 21 to drive after drinking. If you’re pulled over and found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) that is above .00% –in other words, if the results of a chemical test reveal any presence of alcohol whatsoever—then you could lose your license for three months. For a second offense of violating the Zero Tolerance Law, you could lose your license for an entire year. Drivers who refuse to take a chemical test will face a six-month license suspension for a first offense and a two-year suspension on a second offense. A skilled lawyer can help you fight a driver’s license suspension or revocation, so that you can continue to get to work or school.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
Drivers under age 21 can potentially be charged with a DUI with a lower amount of alcohol in their system than adult drivers. If an underage driver is found to have a BAC of over .05% and shows other signs of impairment behind the wheel, that driver can be charged with a DUI. Driving with a BAC of .08% or more will also result in DUI charges, as will driving with any amount of an illegal drug in one’s system. Drivers under age 21 will face the same penalties as an adult driver convicted of a DUI, as well as a minimum two-year-long revocation of their driving privileges. This revocation lasts five years for a second DUI conviction. These harsh penalties make it critical that you’re represented by an experienced Chicago DUI defense lawyer if you’re under 21 and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.