As you probably know, it is illegal to drink alcohol until you reach 21 years of age. Yet many underage individuals still drink and drive. As a result, the State of Illinois provides very severe penalties for someone charged with an underage DUI.
Generally, in Illinois, someone under the age of 21 can be arrested for drunk driving if they have any amount of alcohol in their system, provides the Illinois Secretary of State. So if your blood alcohol level is above 0.00 percent, you can be charged with a DUI.
Illinois law is very harsh and unlike many states that only make it a crime if you have a blood alcohol level above some minimal amount like 0.02, it is a crime in Illinois for an underage individual to even have a sip of alcohol and drive.
Penalties for Underage DUI
Underage drivers face a variety of penalties for a DUI. These can include:
- Driver's License Suspension An underage driver faces a minimum two-year driver's license revocation. The exact length of suspension will depend upon if this is the first DUI arrest and whether the minor refuses to take a blood alcohol test.
- Restricted Driving Permit An offender is not eligible for the restricted driving permit that allows driving if a hardship can be shown until the second year of the license revocation period. So if you need to drive to get to work, you may be out of luck for a full year.
- Ignition Interlock Device An offender under the age of 18 may be ineligible for an ignition interlock device and may have to go through remedial education and retesting just to get his driving privileges back.
- Counseling A minor may be ordered by a judge to participate in the Youthful Intoxicated Driver's Visitation Program. The offender may be sent on a supervised visit to a location where the results of alcoholism or DUI crashes may be viewed.
- Standard Penalties for DUI Along with these special penalties for an underage DUI, someone convicted of a DUI also faces the standard penalties that apply for DUI offenders age 21 and older.
If you have a question about an underage DUI, you may want to talk to a Chicago DUI attorney.
- Illinois DUI Laws (FindLaw)
- DUI Convictions: 7 Potential Penalties Aside From Jail (FindLaw's Chicago DUI Blog)
- How Much Will a DUI Conviction Cost You? (FindLaw's Chicago DUI Blog)