What Are the Most Common Alcohol-Related Juvenile Crimes in Illinois?
For many young people, age 21 cannot come soon enough. Underage individuals may attempt to use a number of methods to obtain alcohol before they are old enough to legally drink it. They may ask an older sibling or friend to buy the alcohol for them, use a fake ID to purchase alcohol in a store, or steal drinks from their parents’ liquor cabinet. Although many juveniles underestimate the danger of underage drinking and even see it as a normal part of growing up, acquiring and consuming alcohol before age 21 is against the law in Illinois. If your child has been charged with an alcohol-related offense, a criminal defense attorney can help you explore your legal options.
Underage Drinking Offenses in Illinois
There are several crimes associated with underage drinking in Illinois. Anyone under age 21 caught purchasing, possessing, or consuming alcohol will have his or her driving privileges suspended for six months for a first offense and 12 months for a second offense. Transporting alcohol in the passenger area of a vehicle can result in a one-year suspension of the offender’s driving privileges.
Under Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Law, an underage driver may have his or her driver’s license suspended for operating a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in his or her system. If a minor driver is caught operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, or 0.05 percent or more with additional evidence of impairment, he or she may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). The penalty for a first-time underage DUI conviction is a two-year driver’s license suspension. A second charge for underage DUI is punishable by a minimum five-year driver’s license suspension.
A Fake ID Can Result in a Felony Conviction
Some individuals under age 21 will use a falsified identification card in order to purchase alcohol or gain entry into establishments serving alcohol. Being in possession of a fake ID is considered a felony offense in Illinois. Possession of a fake driver’s license is a Class 4 felony punishable by up to three years in jail and fines up to $25,000. If the offender has previously been convicted of possessing a fake ID, the charge is elevated to a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to seven years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $25,000. It is also against the law for a person to lend his or her license to another individual for the purpose of obtaining alcohol.
Contact an Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer
Underaged individuals who possess, purchase, receive, or consume alcohol in Illinois face the immediate suspension of their driving privileges. If a fake ID was used to obtain the alcohol, the possessor of the false identification may be charged with a felony offense. Underage drinking crimes can have a major impact on a young person’s future. If your child is facing charges for underage drinking, DUI, possession of a fake ID, or any other alcohol-related offense, contact the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced St. Charles juvenile crime defense attorneys by calling us today at 630-232-1780.