What Are Underage DUI Penalties in Illinois?
One of the milestones nearly all American teenagers look forward to is the day they can get their driver’s license. While it means extra freedom, teens and driving have always been a dangerous combination.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. About a quarter of those fatal accidents involve an underage driver who was drinking. In 2016, 39 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes involving alcohol were young drivers age 16 to 24. Because of this, in addition to minimum drinking age laws, many states have enacted zero-tolerance laws for underage drinking and driving.
Underage DUI in Illinois
While adult DUI penalties are strict, those for underage DUI infractions are arguably worse. In Illinois, if you are under the age of 21, you can face a minimum two-year driver’s license revocation for a first-time DUI conviction. In addition, you will not be eligible for a restricted driving permit (RDP), which allows drivers convicted of DUI to claim a hardship so they can drive to work and school, until the second year of the probation period.
Illinois’ Zero-Tolerance Laws
Many states around the country have enacted some form of a zero-tolerance law that applies to DUI offenders under the legal drinking age of 21. These laws aim to reduce the number of teenage drivers who choose to drink and drive. In Illinois, these laws have worked. Each year since 2013, the number of drivers under the age of 21 who have been arrested for DUI has steadily decreased.
If you are charged with breaking a zero-tolerance law, the penalties can be strict. If you are pulled over and your blood-alcohol content is over .00, you can be charged. For a first offense, you will lose your driving privileges for three months for a chemical test failure. If you refuse a chemical test, your license will be suspended for six months. For a second offense, you will lose your driving privileges for one year following a failed chemical test or two years for refusing to submit to a test.
Contact a St. Charles Underage DUI Defense Lawyer Today
It can be scary when you get the call that your teen is in serious legal trouble. When that trouble is a DUI, it can mean severe consequences. At Donahue & Sowa, we understand the seriousness of underage DUI charges and can help clear your teen’s name. Our experienced Naperville underage DUI defense attorneys will work tirelessly to defend your child and find a sentencing alternative. Call our office today at 630-505-5200 to set up a free consultation.