Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking and Driving
School is ending and the weather is warming. Soon it will be summer picnic season, perfect for graduation parties, family get-togethers, and spending time with friends. While such events can offer a great deal of fun, they can also create danger when a person who celebrated a little too much gets behind the wheel of a car to drive home. Most adults have some idea of how much is too much, but for those under 21 in Illinois , any level of alcohol intoxication can lead to serious consequences under the state’s Zero Tolerance Law.
For individuals under the age of 21, the consumption of alcohol alone is against the law . A person found guilty of possessing, purchasing, or consuming alcohol underage may have his or driving privileges suspended for up to 6 months for a first conviction. A second conviction results in a year’s suspension, and subsequent offenses will in result in the revocation of the individual’s driver’s license.
An underage person who is found to be driving with alcohol in his or system is subject to prosecution on at least two separate charges , depending on the amount of alcohol. As with a driver over 21, an underage driver operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher may be charged with driving under influence or DUI. First-time underage offenders face a two-year mandatory license suspension, fines of up to $2,500, and up to a year in prison. A second offense is punishable by up to a five-year revocation of the offender’s license, in addition to fines and prison sentences. Other factors, such as causing an injury or death, DUI without a valid license or insurance, for example, may further increase penalties.
In addition to DUI, an underage driver found to have a BAC higher than 0.00 percent is also subject to penalties under the Zero Tolerance Law. Operating a vehicle with any trace of alcohol in an underage driver’s system will result in three month suspension of driving privileges. The suspension is increased to six months upon the driver’s refusal to submit to BAC testing. A second offense results in a one-year suspension, increased to two years with refused testing.
If your child is facing charges under the Zero Tolerance Law or charges of DUI, contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney . At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we understand the impact that a conviction can have on a family and are prepared to fight