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Underage DUI: Zero Tolerance in Illinois

The state of Illinois has harsh laws on intoxicated driving and they are especially severe when the driver is under the age of 21. According to the state's Zero Tolerance law, a driver who is not yet 21 years of age can be arrested for drunk driving if they are found to have even a trace of alcohol in their system. The law prohibits an underage driver from accepting, purchasing, consuming, or possessing alcoholic beverages, and any violation will result in serious penalties.

For a driver of legal drinking age, a DUI arrest will result if their blood alcohol concentration is at .08% or higher, which exceeds the legal level of intoxication. In light of the Zero Tolerance law, a driver under the age of 21 will be arrested for drunk driving even if their BAC is only .01%. DUI laws seek to reduce the number of intoxicated drivers on the road, as they put themselves and the public in great danger of harm or wrongful death. Furthermore, the severe restrictions placed upon underage drivers are meant in part to protect the drivers themselves, as drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death among American teenagers. For these reasons, young people who take to the streets while intoxicated will be sentenced to strict penalties if convicted of underage DUI.

Penalties for Under 21 Drunk Driving

If you are facing DUI charges an underage driver, it is imperative that you retain the counsel of a knowledgeable Chicago DUI attorney who can help you understand your options and the devastating penalties you face. Although sentencing will be impacted by the circumstances of the alleged incident, the consequences for under 21 intoxicated driving include:

First Conviction

  • A maximum fine of $2,500
  • Possible incarceration for up to 1 year
  • Complete loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 2 years

Second Conviction

  • Mandatory incarceration for 5 days or 240 hours of community service
  • Possible incarceration for up to 1 year
  • A maximum fine of $2,500
  • Complete loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 5 years

Third Conviction

  • Mandatory imprisonment for 18 to 30 months
  • Possible incarceration for up to 7 years
  • A maximum fine of $25,000
  • Complete loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 10 years

Aggravated DUI (Class 4 Felony): DUI that causes a crash that results in great bodily injury to a victim

  • Maximum fine of $25,000
  • Possible incarceration up to 12 years
  • Complete loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 1 year

Were you charged with underage DUI in Chicago?

Conviction for drunk driving will have disastrous implications upon your life and future opportunities, so you should not hesitate to retain powerful legal defense. A DUI is a criminal charge that must be taken seriously, and it is important to understand your rights and options before entering your plea before the court. Our team at Fagan, Fagan & Davis is dedicated to providing the people of Chicago with aggressive advocacy, and we can help you challenge your underage drunk driving charges.

With over 100 years of combined experience, our firm has effectively represented countless clients in their drunk driving proceedings, and we can ensure your case receives the strongest opportunity to obtain a successful verdict. Our team can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest and subsequent charges to find flaws in the prosecution's case and determine if your rights were violated in any way. With so much on the line, you cannot afford to risk your case in the hands of a subpar defender; you need the defense of a seasoned criminal defense firm that is committed to providing nothing short of legal excellence. If you would like to learn more about your options to fight your under 21 DUI charges, call our firm today to discuss your case!

Where do we appear in court?

We regularly appear for Illinois Criminal defense, DUI defense and Traffic violations throughout the Chicago area including Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane and Will county courts, Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Bridgeview, Markham, Maywood, Waukegan, Wheaton, Naperville, Elgin, St. Charles and more.