Zero Tolerance and Underage DUI Charges in Illinois

 Posted on June 13,2014 in DUI

Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney, Arlington Heights DUI attorney, DUI charge, DUI laws, DUI lawyer, felony DUI, illinois dui attorney, underage drinking, underage DUI, zero toleranceIn the past decade, states have continued to increase coordinated efforts to stop or slow the rate of drunk driving accidents. According to the Illinois State Police, there are several levels of DUI charges and convictions in Illinois, though the state does have a zero-tolerance for underage drinking. This means that if a person is under the age of 21 and caught driving under the influence, he will be charged no matter what his blood alcohol level content was at the time of arrest (even if it was under the legal limit).

If an underage person is charged under the zero tolerance law in Illinois, his license will be revoked for three months if it is the first violation, or six months if he refused the blood alcohol test. If it is his second violation, his license will be revoked for up to one year, or two years if he refused the test. Neither stays on his permanent record. Yet an underage person in Illinois can also be charged under regular DUI laws. If an underage driver is arrested for DUI and his blood alcohol content is .08 or greater, he can receive a DUI conviction that stays on his permanent driving record.

Zero tolerance laws have been in effect in Illinois since 1995. While underage drivers only account for 10 percent of all licensed drivers in the U.S., according to the Illinois State Police, they "are involved in 17 percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes." Additionally, car crashes are one of the most leading causes of death for teenagers in the U.S. Every day, six people, ages 15–20, die in a motor vehicle accident.

There are not dram shop laws specifically targeted at underage drinking (presumably because the teenager would not be able to get into the bar to begin with), but there are similar laws that pertain to hotel or motel responsibility. According to the 2014 Illinois DUI Fact Book, any hotel or motel employee who rents a room to an underage person, knowing that alcoholic drinks will be consumed in it, is liable for damage caused by the underage drinkers, including DUIs.

If you or someone you know has been charged with an underage DUI in Arlington Heights, the most important step is to seek the counsel of an attorney. Contact Scott F. Anderson Attorney at Law for a free initial consultation today.

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