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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_324467150-min.jpgOriginally published: August 4, 2021 -- Updated: September 12, 2022

Update: In addition to the potential criminal charges that may apply for minors who possess or drink alcohol, it is also important to understand that people under the age of 21 who drink and drive may be arrested for DUI. Charges related to drunk driving can have a long-lasting effect on a person's criminal record and their driver's license. For a minor who is facing charges for DUI, it is important to understand the specific laws in Illinois and how they may apply to a particular case. Illinois has a "zero tolerance" law that applies to underage drinking and driving. A person under the age of 21 may face consequences if they are found to have any alcohol in their system while driving. While the legal blood alcohol content limit of .08 percent will still apply, minors who are arrested for DUI may face a license suspension if a chemical test shows that they have any alcohol in their system. A BAC reading above .00 percent will result in a driver's license suspension of three months for a first offense and one year for a second offense. If an underage driver refuses to take a chemical BAC test after being arrested, their license will be suspended for six months for a first offense and two years for a second offense.

Criminal DUI charges will apply if an underage driver is found to be driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any other substance or combination of substances that affected their ability to operate a vehicle safely. A chemical BAC test reading of .08 percent or more may result in a DUI conviction. Since a first-time DUI is a Class A misdemeanor offense, a person may be sentenced to up to one year in prison, and they may be fined up to $2,500. Underage drivers will also be subject to a two-year driver's license revocation, and they will not be eligible to have their driving privileges reinstated while using an ignition interlock device. After serving one year of their revocation, a person may be able to apply for a restricted driving permit. Underage drivers may also be required to participate in remedial education (traffic school), as well as the Youthful Intoxicated Driver's Visitation Program, which involves counseling and visits to view car accidents caused by drunk driving.

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Posted on in DUI

Wheaton DUI Defense LawyerDrunk driving charges are some of the most common criminal offenses for which people are arrested in Illinois. Usually, driving under the influence (DUI) is a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. People charged with a first or second DUI are often able to avoid jail. They still face driver’s license revocation, steep fines, and other penalties if convicted, but they may be able to regain driving privileges through a special permit. The consequences of a misdemeanor DUI are nothing to scoff at. However, felony DUI charges are much worse.

Felony DUI offenders often face significant jail time and other harsh consequences. Regaining driving privileges and restoring normalcy in your life after a felony DUI can be extremely difficult. If you or a loved one are facing felony DUI charges, make sure to work with a skilled DUI defense attorney.  

Felony Drunk Driving Charges in Illinois

DUI is a Class A misdemeanor in many cases. However, certain aggravating circumstances greatly increase the impact of a DUI charge.

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Wheaton Criminal Defense AttorneyFew substances have been as controversial as cannabis. Public opinion about marijuana flower and THC products has shifted in recent years and many states have legalized the drug for medical or recreational use. Marijuana has been legal in Illinois since 2020. However, there are still important limitations regarding possession, consumption, sale, and cultivation of marijuana. Violating one of Illinois’ marijuana laws can lead to criminal penalties, including jail time.

Illinois Cannabis Laws in 2022

Many people make the mistake of assuming that because marijuana was legalized, that any and all use of the substance is permitted. However, Illinois law only allows certain people to use marijuana and only under certain conditions. Similarly to alcohol use, marijuana use is only allowed for adults aged 21 or older. Illinois residents may possess up to 30 grams, or approximately an ounce, of marijuana flower, up to 5 grams of marijuana concentrate, or up to 500 mg of THC in an “edible” or other marijuana product.

You cannot use cannabis around children, on private property if the property owner does not approve, in public parks or beaches, or in a motor vehicle. It is also against the law for individuals to sell marijuana. Only licensed marijuana dispensaries can sell marijuana. It is also expressly against the law to drive a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_dupage-county-dui-defense-lawyer.jpgDriving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is penalized by criminal and administrative consequences in Illinois. If you are convicted of DUI, your driver’s license will be revoked and you will not be allowed to drive for the duration of the revocation period. You will also face steep fines and, in some cases, even imprisonment.

However, individuals accused of drunk driving have Constitutional rights, including the right to defend themselves against the charges. One potential defense strategy is to question the validity of blood alcohol test results.

Blood Testing to Determine Blood Alcohol Content

In Illinois, blood testing is frequently used to assess a driver’s intoxication level. Blood testing is not infallible, however. Many different issues can cause blood test results to be inaccurate.

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Posted on in Juvenile Offenders

IL defense lawyerThe legal drinking age is 21 in all 50 U.S. states. However, this does not mean that every person waits until they are 21 years old to drink alcohol. Teens and young adults may experiment with alcohol before it is legal. In some cases, the decision to drink leads to significant consequences, including criminal charges.

Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Many young people find ways to access alcohol even though they are not old enough to buy it legally. They may get an older sibling or friend to purchase the alcohol for them or use a fake ID to buy alcohol from the store. Underage possession of alcohol is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the offender faces driver's license suspension for a minimum of six years, fines, and even jail time.

Illinois Zero Tolerance Policy

The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in Illinois is 0.08 percent. However, Illinois has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking. Individuals under the age of 21 are not allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system. Having even just a single drink and then driving can lead to repercussions under Illinois's zero-tolerance laws.

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