What Are the Consequences for Common Underage Alcohol-Related Crimes?

Posted on in Criminal Law

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.

Using a Fake ID

Using a fake ID is a much more serious crime than simple underage drinking. If you are caught using an ID that is not yours, using an ID that displays false information, or using a fictitious document to obtain a false ID, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This charge carries a potential sentence of one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. If you possess or attempt to use a fraudulent ID that was manufactured by anyone other than the government, you could face a Class 4 felony, which has a possible sentence of one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. In addition, if you are convicted of any crime involving a fake ID, you can have your driving privileges suspended or revoked.

Underage DUI

If you are under the age of 21, and you are driving with any amount of alcohol in your system, you could be charged with breaking the state’s Zero Tolerance law. This law states that it is illegal for any person who is under the age of 21 to drive with a BAC of more than 0.00 percent. A first offense is a three-month suspension, while a refusal to take a BAC test will result in a six-month suspension. In addition to zero tolerance penalties, offenders are also subject to all DUI laws pertaining to adults.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or your teenager has been charged with an alcohol-related offense, you need to speak with a skilled Rolling Meadows, IL DUI defense attorney right away. If you are convicted, you face potentially serious consequences, such as jail time, fines, or a loss of your driving privileges. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has more than 20 years of experience helping clients defend against various criminal charges. We will help you avoid punishments so you can maintain a clean driving record. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-253-3400.