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What Should Underage Drivers Know About the Illinois Zero Tolerance Law?

 Posted on August 09, 2021 in DUI

Joliet IL DUI defense attorneyDrunk driving can lead to very dangerous situations, and Illinois has laws in place to curb drunk driving as much as possible. The rules regarding DUIs for underaged drivers are especially strict, and it is important to be aware of the possible consequences if an officer has probable cause to suspect you have been drinking. Even if you are below the legal limit for the typical DUI requirements, you may still face severe punishments as an underage driver.

The Illinois Zero Tolerance Law

Unfortunately, many alcohol-related car accidents involve underage drivers, and Illinois has implemented a Zero Tolerance Law in an effort to minimize the risk. The Zero Tolerance Law states that a driver under the age of 21 who is caught with any trace of alcohol in their system can have their driver’s license suspended. If the officer has probable cause to suspect the driver has consumed alcohol, the law requires the underage driver to consent to chemical testing. If the driver is found to have a BAC of more than 0.00, their license will be suspended for three months for a first offense. If an underage driver refuses to be tested, their driving privileges will be suspended for six months for a first offense.

Further Consequences for an Underage DUI

In addition to a suspension under the Zero Tolerance Law, underage drivers can also face more severe penalties if they are convicted of DUI. A first-time offender can face a driver’s license revocation for a minimum of two years, which is twice the length of the minimum revocation for a driver who is of legal drinking age. If an underage driver is facing their second DUI conviction, their driving privileges could be revoked for a minimum of five years. Additional punishments for a DUI conviction include possible jail time and heavy fines. If there are any passengers in the vehicle under the age of 16, these penalties will likely increase.

There are several other possible consequences for an underage drunk driving charge, including the required completion of a remedial driving education course, required alcohol evaluation and treatment, and higher car insurance costs. Furthermore, an underage DUI charge could result in long-term effects on your driving record, your ability to find employment, and your ability to secure educational opportunities.

Contact Our Joliet DUI Defense Attorney Today

If you are underage and get pulled over after having a drink or two, Illinois’s Zero Tolerance Law makes it very likely that you will face penalties for this decision. Knowing the possible consequences of your actions and what to do when facing charges is very important. If you are facing charges for driving under the influence while underage, our Will County DUI defense lawyers can represent you and help you minimize the penalties you may face. Contact McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC to schedule your free consultation by calling 815-727-0100.





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