Dangers of Drinking and Driving Underage in Illinois

 Posted on October 22,2013 in DUI

illinois-underage-drinking-and-drivingIllinois has a zero tolerance policy that requires underage drinking and driving to be taken seriously across the state. The zero tolerance policy states that any driver under the age of 21 pulled over with any trace of alcohol in their system will lose driving privileges. Those individuals charged with drinking and driving should get legal advice from a qualified Arlington Heights DUI attorney.

This includes situations where an officer makes an otherwise routine traffic stop to issue a citation and has probable cause to believe that an individual younger than 21 has alcohol in their system. Officers can administer chemical tests to confirm levels of alcohol. If the test outcome determines alcohol in the driver’s system, the police officer or trooper simply submits a sworn statement to the Illinois Secretary of State to have the driver’s license suspended.

Illinois has very specific punishments for those under 21 when it comes to drinking and driving. A first offense carries a penalty of 3-month suspension of driving privileges for any BAC above .00. A second offense carries a penalty of 1-year suspension of driving privileges for any BAC above .00. Refusing to take the chemical test to verify presence of alcohol in the system also has penalties. The first violation for refusal or failure to complete a test is a 6-month suspension of driving privileges and the second violation is a 2-year suspension.

An individual under the age of 21 may also be charged with a DUI with a BAC of .08 or higher, other indications of impaired driving, presence of illegal drugs in his or her system, or a BAC of .05 with any additional evidence of driving impairment. If the driver has caused an accident, he or she may face additional penalties.

Drinking and driving is a serious offense if you are under the legal drinking age. If you have already been pulled over and tested by a police officer, you need to speak with an Illinois DUI attorney today about your case.

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