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Understanding the Consequences of Underage Drinking in Illinois

DuPage County underage DUI attorneyIllinois has some of the strictest drinking and driving laws in the nation. In fact, even first-time DUI offenders are at risk for losing their driving privileges for a year or longer. Underage drinkers do not fare any better. In fact, the penalties for minors could, in some cases, be more severe than those experienced by adults. If you or someone you love is facing an underage DUI or other alcohol-related offense, the following can help you understand the consequences, and how an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you avoid them.

Underage Drinking Consequences

When it comes to underage drinking and legal consequences, driving is not required. Minors (those under the age of 21) can be penalized simply for possessing, purchasing, receiving, or consuming alcohol – up to three months of a suspension on their driving privileges and at least six months of court supervision for a first offense. Subsequent offenses carry even heavier penalties, and could, in some cases, result in a complete revocation of a minor’s driving license. Transporting alcohol under the age of 21 is also considered a serious offense, and can result in a mandatory one-year suspension of the driver’s license.

Zero Tolerance for Driving Under the Influence

In some ways, underage drinking and driving is more serious than a DUI case for an adult. True, their license suspension period may be less (three month suspension for first-time minor offenders compared to a year or longer for adult offenders), but minors face a zero tolerance policy. This means even a trace amount of alcohol in their system can result in a DUI charge. This can be problematic – not just because of the consequences themselves, but also because there are many substances that can trigger a positive test on a breathalyzer. For example, some chewing gums, mouthwashes, and even lip balms contain trace amounts of alcohol.

Protecting Your Rights in an Underage DUI Case

Because they do not have the same experiences as adult drivers, minor DUI offenders are far more likely to simply accept the consequences of a DUI charge. They may say things that could incriminate them, and they are far less likely to contact an attorney on their own. Yet they have the exact same rights as adults – the right to remain silent, to legal counsel, and to fight their charges in a court of law. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

Contact Our Experienced DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or your teen are facing criminal charges for an alcohol-related offense, contact the Law Offices of Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law. With more than 25 years of experience, we will aggressively represent your case. Whenever possible, we seek to mitigate the charges. In some instances, we may even be able to have the charged dropped completely. Learn more by scheduling a consultation with our DuPage County criminal defense attorney. Call us at 630-260-9647 today.

Source:

https://www.illinois.gov/ilcc/Education/Pages/Under21Laws.aspx

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