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What Are the Restrictions for New Teen Drivers in Illinois?

 Posted on April 14, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Joliet traffic citations attorneysGetting a driver’s license is a rite of passage for many teenagers. After completing the classroom work and the required number of hours behind the wheel, many teens feel a sense of  accomplishment when they finally become a licensed driver. They are excited and enthusiastic about hitting the road on their own. However, operating a motor vehicle takes practice, especially in traffic. In addition, there are many rules of the road that all drivers must obey to stay safe, regardless if they are traveling in a rural or urban area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of automobile accidents is higher among teens aged 16-19 compared to any other age group. A traffic violation can result in a traffic ticket or more serious consequences. Therefore, it is important to understand what constitutes a violation if your teen driver is facing criminal charges. 

Graduated Driver Licensing Program 

The Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program is designed especially for teen drivers by the Illinois Secretary of State. This involves laws that specifically apply to young motorists. Consequences for violations can vary from traffic tickets to supervision to license suspension depending on the circumstances. 

During this initial licensing phase, drivers aged 16-17 have the following stipulations:

  • Drivers must not receive any traffic ticket convictions for six months before his or her 18th birthday.
  • A driver cannot have more than one passenger under the age of 20 unless it is his or her child or sibling. 
  • Drivers are prohibited from driving Sunday through Thursday between 10 pm and 6 am and Friday through Saturday between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Teen drivers must obey the local curfew law.
  • A driver must not use a cell phone, even if hands-free, while driving except in an emergency.

Penalties for Teen Driver Violations

A first-time conviction for a violation of the restrictions imposed on their driver’s license will result in a two-month license suspension. To avoid a conviction, a teen can request court supervision for a traffic ticket. However, the teen is required to appear in court accompanied by his or her parent or guardian. In these cases, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney to help protect the teen’s rights.

Court supervision is only granted once for a serious traffic violation. If a teen is convicted of a serious traffic violation, the teen must wait nine months from the date of the violation before obtaining his or her driver’s license. Any individual who is under the age of 21 will have their driver’s license suspended if he or she received two moving violation convictions within two years.
Serious traffic violations include, but are not limited to:

  • Transportation or possession of alcohol in a vehicle
  • Driving without a valid license 
  • Fleeing the scene of a crash
  • Aggravated speeding (26 mph or more over the posted speed limit)
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

Most teen drivers are eager to hit the road once they obtain their driver’s licenses. However, they may not fully understand all the traffic laws and the actions that are considered violations. If your teenager is facing charges related to an incident behind the wheel, you should consult the accomplished law firm of McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC. Our tenacious Will County traffic violations defense lawyer will make sure your teen’s rights were not violated during the traffic stop that led to criminal charges. We can craft a solid defense to ensure his or her driving privileges remain intact. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 815-727-0100.





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