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Rolling Meadows, IL DUI defense attorney

Alcohol is a common source of trouble for teens. Underage drinking is fairly typical in the United States, but it can result in significant criminal charges and even life-threatening problems. For young adults, unintentional injuries are the most common cause of death, with the majority of those injuries related to car accidents. When you add alcohol use into the mix, the likelihood of a vehicle crash is even higher. This is why the laws pertaining to underage drinking and alcohol possession are so strict and carry such serious consequences. Teens and underage young adults can face severe punishments for violating certain alcohol-related offenses, including driving under the influence (DUI). 

Underage Drinking

You must be 21 or older to legally purchase or consume alcohol in the United States. If you are under the age of 21, you are not permitted to consume alcohol, or you could be charged with underage drinking. If you are convicted of underage drinking, you face a six-month driver's license suspension, unless you were sentenced to court supervision, in which case you face a three-month driver’s license suspension. A second conviction may result in a one-year suspension, and further convictions can result in a revocation.


IL defense lawyerWhen teens get behind the wheel of a car after they have consumed alcohol, they have a higher chance of getting into an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, with a fourth of those crashes involving an underage driver who has been drinking. The NHTSA reports that drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 made up 39 percent of drivers involved in fatal alcohol-involved crashes. Illinois has adopted a zero tolerance law, meaning that if an underage driver is found to have any alcohol in their system, they will lose their driving privileges. Being charged with an underage DUI is a serious offense, so it is important that you understand the penalties.

Legal Penalties for Underage Drinkers

Under the Zero Tolerance law in Illinois, an underage driver who is found to have alcohol in their system can be subject to penalties under the Zero Tolerance law, but also DUI laws.


Posted on in DUI

Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyerDrinking and driving can have serious consequences for any driver, but those under the age of 21 have the additional burden of a zero tolerance law. Underage drivers also have slightly different (and more severe) penalties than adults if they are caught driving while intoxicated. The following explains the potential consequences of an underage DUI. It also provides some valuable information on how they might be avoided, should an arrest occur.

What is the Zero Tolerance Law?

For non-commercial drivers over the age of 21, the legal limit of intoxication is a BAC of 0.08 or higher. Drivers under the age of 21 are held to a much higher standard because they are not of legal age to drink. This standard, which is known as the zero tolerance law, states that they can be penalized with a DUI if they have any trace of alcohol in their system. In other words, they cannot surpass a 0.00 BAC.


Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer, Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyer, Chicago DUI, Chicago DUI attorney, combat irresponsible drinking, driving under the influence, DUI lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Illinois DUI Lawyer, irresponsible drinking, Naperville regulations, underage drinkingNaperville City Councilmen recently voted to forbid neighborhood bars from offering major beer discounts as a response to an alleged drunk driving crash and a downtown street fight video gone viral. These regulations were proposed in an effort to combat irresponsible drinking that can result in serious drunk driving accidents and anger problems among patrons. According to the Chicago Tribune, the new regulations will also require bar security guards to undergo additional training to work with intoxicated patrons and to help prevent similar issues in the future.

While skeptics of the proposed law anticipated that the public would not allow the Naperville council to pass such restrictive regulations, there has been no public outcry. The new rules specifically forbid bars from reducing the price of a drink more than 50 percent. The public—primarily bar owners and managers—have, however, "taken issue with proposals to limit maximum beer sizes to 20 ounces … and barring patrons from entering a bar an hour before closing."

Most drunk driving accidents occur when a bar patron leaves intoxicated and drives home. Illinois has dram shop laws that forbid a bar from serving an intoxicated person, but these are rarely enforced. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, however, any person who is injured by a drunk driver who was served while visibly intoxicated has a "right of action" against the drunk driver. The trick is to be able to present the correct evidence to prove this in court.


Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer, drunk driving, DUI arrest, underage drinking laws, underage drinking, alcohol-related injuries, college students and drinking, DUI chargeUnderage drinking affects thousands of Illinois college students and their families every year. With the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of the fall semester underway, students face the temptations of drinking underage without always being fully aware of the consequences of those actions.

Students who choose to drink and drive may face the legal ramifications of a DUI charge, which can affect both their criminal record and driving eligibility status. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shares dangerous statistics surrounding underage drinking among college campuses:

  • An estimated 696,000 students are assaulted by another student under the influence of alcohol;
  • Approximately 25 percent of college students report facing academic setbacks due to their drinking, including missing class, poor school performance, and receiving lower grades;
  • An estimated 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol; and
  • An estimated 1,825 college students die from alcohol-related injuries.

Sexual assault, injuries, alcohol dependence, and severe health problems are also all listed under the umbrella of what can result when minors consume alcohol.