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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.


Posted on in Juvenile Offenders

wheaton defense lawyerWhen college students are on their own for the first time, they have opportunities to learn about creative ideas, meet new people, understand different cultures, and, more than likely, experiment with alcohol. If you are a young adult or you have a child leaving for college this fall, it is important to understand the laws in Illinois regarding underage drinking

Underage Drinking Charges in Illinois

In Illinois, underage drinking is considered a status offense, meaning the act is against the law because you are not old enough to do it. To buy alcohol, you must be 21 years old. However, state laws prohibiting underage drinking differ for those under the age of 18 and those over the age of 18 but not yet 21. 

Under Illinois state law, here are the circumstances in which you could be charged with underage drinking as a minor:


DuPage County juvenile defense attorneyTeens cannot vote or buy cigarettes, and until they turn 18, they cannot enlist in the armed forces. Yet there are crimes they can commit that will send them into the adult court system. If convicted, they face a future with a criminal record, which drastically reduces their opportunities for housing and employment. In short, their lives forever changed. Could this happen to your teen? If you believe there is even the slightest possible chance that your juvenile offender could face this fate, the following information will help you understand how to proceed.

The History of the Juvenile Justice System in Illinois

At one time, teens as young as 15 could be automatically referred to adult court – and not just in Illinois. Many states were uncertain of how to handle teen offenders, and they reasoned that harsher penalties would keep crime rates down. Unfortunately, no one accounted for recidivism rates, which began to drastically increase among teens who had been tried as adults. Then the studies started to pour in. Many indicated teens, who are still mentally and emotionally developing, would be best served through a rehabilitation program.

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