Although it is illegal to for anyone to drive while intoxicated, and illegal anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol, figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that one out of 10 high school teens drive drunk. This makes them 17 times more likely to die in an automobile crash, and it places them at high risk for a DUI arrest, which can impact their criminal record and licensing status. To combat this issue and hopefully deter teens from driving while intoxicated, the Illinois Neurological Institute is conducting DUI accident reenactments at local high schools.
Realistic Reenactments Attempt to Drive the Message Home
The DUI accident reenactments are gory and brutal. Those responsible for putting them together – local police and fire departments, the local morgue, and the Neurological Institute – have designed them that way to drive the message home: humans have one life, and even just one episode of drinking and driving can rip it away. This, in and of itself, should be enough of a deterrent. But sometimes, it is not. It is then that parents should talk to their teens about the other potential consequences and, if possible and necessary, take action.
Talking to Your Teen About Drinking and Driving
For some teenagers, the possibility of death does not seem real. In these instances, discussions regarding fatality may not be helpful. Instead, parents may benefit from coming up with creative solutions that will help their teens understand just how crucial it is that they never get behind the wheel intoxicated. Safety plans – ones that take away or, at the very least, diminish consequences when they call parents for a ride instead of driving – may also be helpful.
When a Parent’s Best Just Is Not Enough
Even if a parent takes every precaution to ensure their child understands the consequences of drinking and driving, it may not be enough. In these instances, parents often hope that the call they receive is the one letting them know their teen has been arrested. But then, when that phone call comes, there is the realization that their teen’s life could be forever changed.
Illinois Consequences for Underage DUI
Illinois is considered a “zero-tolerance” state, which means that any blood-alcohol content (BAC) over 0.00 percent can lead to a citation. If it is their first offense and their BAC is below .08, then they can have their license suspended for up to three months. If, however, their BAC is over the adult legal limit of 0.08, then they can have their license suspended for a minimum of two years, face up to one year of imprisonment, and a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent offenses will have increased penalties.
Underage teens convicted of a DUI may also face other consequences, especially if someone else is killed or injured because of their drinking. The penalty will vary greatly, depending on the circumstances, but some charges could wreak serious havoc on your teen’s future. Additionally, even if no other charges are brought against them, they may not be able to have their auto insurance renewed. At the very least, the rate will likely increase, and your teen may need to carry an SR-22 for a predetermined period of time.
Teen Arrested for a DUI? Get the Experienced Legal Help You Need
While some level of consequence may stop your teen from driving drunk in the future, those that have legal consequences can go well beyond that of a learning opportunity. Depending on the circumstances and their age, they could be banned from certain types of employment, may have to do actual jail time, and could have a ding on their criminal record for the rest of their lives. As such, parents may wish to seek experienced legal counsel.
Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, has been helping clients accused of DUI and other crimes for more than 25 years. Experienced and resourceful, he examines each individual case from every angle to search for flaws that could change the landscape of your teens criminal case. Contact a Arlington Heights DUI defense attorney who is willing to take an assertive approach right from the start. Call 847-253-3400 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
Client accused of burglary was acquitted due to our skillful cross examination of eye witness identification.
Client accused of causing the death of another while driving under the influence - Acquitted.
Client accused of first degree murder - Acquitted.
Client accused of embezzlement - Charges never filed.
Hundreds of Secretary of State hearings for Drivers License Reinstatement - Won.