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What Are the Penalties for DUI With a Minor Passenger in Illinois?

 Posted on April 21, 2020 in DUI

Joliet DUI defense attorneysThere are many actions that can constitute a criminal offense in Illinois. The penalties can vary depending on the type of crime committed. Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is one of the most serious offenses a motorist can make. If a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, he or she can be charged with DUI. The consequences for this type of traffic violation vary depending on the circumstances. In certain situations, a drunk driver may not be alone and have one or several passengers. When the occupant of the vehicle is a child, the charges can be elevated. DUI with a child passenger can result in years behind bars and fines, not to mention loss of driving privileges. That is why it is important to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney to represent you if you are facing these serious charges. 

Punishments for DUI With a Child Passenger

Anyone who is less than 16 years old is considered a child passenger in Illinois. Even a first offense of DUI with a child passenger can result in significant penalties. In some cases, supervision or probation may be possible. Here are the penalties based on the the number of offenses: 

  • First offense: Class A misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500
  • First offense that results in bodily harm to the child: Class 4 felony with a sentence of one to three years in prison; fines of $2,500 up to $25,000
  • Second offense: Class 2 felony with a possible sentence of 3-7 years prison with a minimum fine of $5,000 to a maximum fine of $25,000.

If a judge sentences an offender to jail time, then he or she is not eligible for supervision. If a defendant receives a sentence of supervision, the court oversees him or her, but the motorist’s driving privileges will remain intact. The Secretary of State will not revoke the motorist’s driver’s license since supervision is not the same as a conviction. If the defendant adheres to the supervision, the DUI charge will be dismissed without a conviction.

Child Endangerment

In many instances, when a driver is arrested for DUI with a child in the vehicle, police will add the allegation of Child Endangerment. If the officer did not administer this charge, the State’s Attorney may add the charge once the case goes to court. According to Illinois statute, Child Endangerment is defined as willfully causing or permitting the life or health of a child under the age of 18 to be endangered. It can also include knowingly permitting or causing a minor to be placed in situations that endanger the child’s life or health. It is important to note that if a driver has a passenger who is 16 or 17 years old and is stopped for suspicion of DUI, that can result in child endangerment, but not the enhanced DUI with a child charge.

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney 

The consequences for choosing to drive after drinking in Illinois can be significant. In some cases, the charge is elevated because the motorist has a passenger who is a minor. If you or someone you know is facing any type of criminal charge, it is imperative that you seek professional legal counsel to protect your rights. The experienced legal team at McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC are prepared to represent you in a court of law. Our accomplished Will County DUI defense lawyers understand criminal law and will advocate on your behalf to reduce the charges. Call us today at 815-727-0100 to schedule your free consultation. 





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