Underage DUI in Illinois

 Posted on October 21,2023 in DUI

IL defense lawyerDid you know that drivers under the age of 21 are involved in 17% of fatal DUI crashes, even though they represent only 10% of licensed drivers? 

A driver under the age of 21 will face more severe consequences for drunk driving than a driver who is arrested for a DUI and is of legal drinking age. 

With minors facing harsh penalties, you need your teen to be represented by an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney. Look no further than our Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer.

What is the Zero Tolerance Law in Illinois?

If a police officer or other authority discovers that an underage motorist is inebriated, driving privileges are automatically suspended. It does not matter how much alcohol is found in the individual’s system.

This is known as the Zero Tolerance Law. A driver will lose his or her license if a blood, urine, or breathalyzer test comes back with any trace of alcohol, meaning anything higher than a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.00%. For a first offense, the minor will face a three-month suspension of driving privileges. For a second offense, the minor will face a one-year suspension.

The penalties will change if the minor refuses or fails to take a blood test. For the first violation, there will be a six-month suspension of the minor’s license. For a second violation, the minor’s license will be suspended for two years.

Consequences for Teens Charged with a DUI

In Illinois, a driver cannot legally drive if their BAC is 0.08% or more. However, if the driver is exhibiting impairment, has any illegal drugs in his or her system, or has a BAC of 0.05 or more, the arresting officer can still charge the individual with a DUI.


Depending on prior convictions, a teenager or anybody who drinks underage may experience any of the following penalties:

First DUI conviction

  • One year of potential jail time
  • Fines from $500 to $2,500
  • License suspension of one year or longer

Second DUI conviction

  • One year of potential jail time (five days mandatory)
  • Fines up to $2,500
  • License suspension for at least five years

The consequences only increase further for subsequent convictions, no matter how old the driver was at the time. An attorney can work to avoid jail time for an underage driver, often seeking probation, community service, or other options instead. Your attorney can also try to get charges dismissed or reduced whenever possible. 

A Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer has the experience to defend these charges to give you the strongest chance of having your sentence and fines reduced.

An Arlington Heights, IL, DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer Providing Aggressive Counsel

We all know that teenagers do not make the best decisions. If your teen is facing a DUI charge, our Rolling Meadows, IL, DUI defense attorney is here to help. He is not intimidated by the severity of a DUI charge, and he knows what it takes to get results. Contact Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law today to schedule your free consultation. 

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