Defending Against an Underage Drinking Charge
While everyone knows drinking under the age of 21 is illegal, that does not stop everyone. There are numerous charges minors can face if caught with alcohol and their troubles are quickly compounded if they operate a vehicle while under the influence. Also, anyone 21 or older who provides a minor with alcohol risks fines and/or jail time. If your child has been charged with an underage drinking offense, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately.
Possession or Purchase of Alcohol
If a minor age 16 or older is caught in possession of alcohol or buying or receiving it, their license can be suspended for three months for ordered court supervision, six months for a first conviction, or a year for a second conviction. For a third or subsequent offense, a minor may have their license revoked. The punishment is worse if a minor has alcohol in their car. In fact, everyone in the vehicle may be fined up to $1,000, and the driver’s license may be suspended for one year.
For adults, a DUI involves a blood alcohol content of .08 or above. For minors, there is a zero-tolerance policy, which means any alcohol present in the blood while driving can lead to a DUI charge. A first conviction can result in up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines, along with a two-year license suspension. In the case of a second conviction, the offender may receive the same punishments, but their license may be revoked for five years or up to age 21, and they could spend at least five days in jail or be required to complete 240 hours of community service.
Underage Felony DUI
If a minor’s DUI causes bodily harm or death, or in the case of a third or subsequent conviction, the legal repercussions are much more extreme. A minor could spend 14 years in prison for causing a death, or 28 years if there are multiple victims. Additionally charged felonies may bring even more incarceration and driving privileges could be taken away for life.
Social Host Law
Adults who give alcohol to minors can face harsh penalties as well, including up to $2,500 in fines and a year in jail. Under the Social Host Law, the fine minimum is $500 for adults who allow minors to drink on their property or in their home. If the drinking leads to a felony, including serious injury or death due to a minor’s alcohol consumption, the provider of the alcohol may spend up to three years in prison and face fines up to $25,000.
Contact a Naperville Alcohol Violations Attorney for Help
At the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, we fight for clients charged with underage drinking and DUI. Contact an experienced St. Charles illegal consumption attorney to get help with your case today. Call 630-232-1780 to schedule a free consultation.