Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is against the law for everyone in Illinois—and every other state, for that matter. The penalties for a DUI conviction can be severe and may have a significant impact on your life. These penalties only increase, however, if you are under the age of 21 when the DUI allegedly occurred.

Harsher Standards for Underage Drivers

The legal limit, or limit at which an individual is presumed to be under the influence, in Illinois is 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). Because consuming alcohol is unlawful for individuals under 21, the law places a much stricter standard on underage drivers. Illinois has adopted a “Zero Tolerance1 law in regard to underage drivers, meaning that even the slightest amount of alcohol detected in their systems can result in a criminal conviction. The following are possible convictions for drivers under 21 depending on their BAC:

  • BAC of 0.00 to 0.05 – Zero Tolerance While Driving
  • BAC of 0.08 or more – Under 21 DUI
  • BAC of 0.05 or more with additional evidence proving they were impaired – Under 21 DUI

Penalties for Underage DUI

The potential consequences for a first offense of underage DUI in Illinois vary depending may include the following:

  • Suspension of driver’s license by the Secretary of State2 (Three months for Zero Tolerance; minimum or two years for DUI)
  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Mandatory substance abuse evaluation and treatment if deemed necessary
  • Increased insurance
  • Court fees
  • Conviction on your driving record

Such consequences can have a huge effect on your finances, you child’s freedom, and your child’s future educational or professional opportunities.

Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer for assistance today

If your child has been arrested on suspicion of a DUI, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney who understands the criminal justice system in and around Chicago. You child’s future may be on the line for even trace amounts of alcohol, though fortunately there are many ways to defend underage DUI charges. Call the office of experienced criminal defense lawyer Nenye Uche at (888) 251-4428 for help today.


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