Many people do not wait until they are of the legal age to start drinking. Sometimes, those who are under age 21 gain access to alcohol when an older friend or relative purchases it for them, they attend a party at which alcohol is available, or they sneak into a bar. While some adults see such behavior as a part of growing up or even a rite of passage for their, it is important for people of all ages to understand that underage drinking is a crime and it can have serious consequences.
When a person under 21 years old is found guilty of possessing, purchasing, or consuming alcohol, they are at risk of having their driving privileges suspended for up to 6 months. The offense is also a Class A misdemeanor, in most cases, carrying a fine of up $500 as well. A second underage conviction results in a year’s suspension, and any further underage drinking offenses will in result in the revocation of the individual’s driver’s license.
Underage Drinking and Driving
If you are underage, having any amount of alcohol in your system is against the law. An underage driver found to have any alcohol in their system—meaning a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.00—is subject to penalties under the Zero Tolerance Law in Illinois. A person under age 21 who is caught driving with any alcohol in their system will have their driving privileges suspended for three months. If a police officer arrests a driver on the suspicion of breaking the Zero Tolerance Law, the officer will ask the driver to take a chemical blood alcohol test—usually a breathalyzer. If the driver refuses to submit to BAC testing, his or her driver’s license will be suspended for six months. A second offense including refusal to submit to chemical BAC testing will result in a two-year driver’s license suspension.
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 (DUI). Consequences for a first offense include a two-year mandatory license suspension, fines of up to $2,500, and up to a year in jail. A second offense is punishable by up to a five-year revocation of the offender’s license and more severe fines and longer jail time. If another person is injured or the drunk driving causes an accident, the driver may face additional penalties.
Contact an Experienced Will County DUI Lawyer Today
If you or your child has been charged under the Zero Tolerance Law in Illinois, you deserve a lawyer who will fight hard on your behalf. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney for the guidance you need by calling 815-740-4025 today.