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Underage Drinking Has Strict Consequences in Illinois While parents do everything in their power to keep their children safe, many young teens make the reckless decision to engage in underage drinking. Underage drinking can come with serious health risks, in large part due to the fact that most teens do not have the maturity to safely consume alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 4,000 underage youth die each year as a result of underage drinking. Outside of the inherent health risks of underage drinking, the consumption of alcohol can result in serious legal consequences for a minor

Alcohol Laws for Minors in Illinois 

Recognizing the health risks associated with underage drinking, the legal consequences of drinking underage are severe in the state of Illinois. A minor that possesses, consumes, or purchases alcohol will face a six-month driver’s license suspension if convicted. A second conviction for a minor in possession will result in a one-year license suspension. The legal ramifications of drinking underage can be more severe if a minor uses a fake or fraudulent ID to obtain alcohol. Using someone else’s ID warrants a Class A misdemeanor charge and potentially up to one year in jail. If a minor is caught using a fraudulent ID (an ID manufactured by someone who is unaffiliated with the United States government) they could face a Class 4 felony charge. It is also important to understand the way in which an alcohol- or drug-related arrest can impact your child’s future. A serious conviction can impact their ability to get into prestigious universities and even impact their ability to secure employment. 

Driving Under the Influence 

In Illinois, the Zero Tolerance Policy will result in an automatic suspension of driving privileges, if the minor’s blood alcohol content is over 0.00. In other words, even if a minor would be under the legal limit for an adult, they can still face legal consequences for driving after consuming alcohol. A first-time offender will face a mandatory three-month suspension. If your child is convicted of a DUI, they will face Class A misdemeanor charges, up to one year in prison, and fines as high as $2,500. A convicted minor will also face a license revocation period of two years and will not be eligible for driving relief in the first year. 


How Legalized Marijuana Affects Your Driving Rights in IllinoisHere in the state of Illinois, marijuana will soon be both recreationally and medicinally legal. In other words, people can legally use marijuana products due to the presence of health issues or simply due to their desire for recreational use. While the legality of marijuana has prompted the Illinois State Police to establish a task force designed to look out for signs of marijuana-influenced driving, the legality of marijuana should not change the way DUI stops are handled by police officers. If you are charged with either a drug or DUI charge, it is time to seek out the help of a legal professional. 

Marijuana and DUIs

In Illinois, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, whether it is medicinal or recreational marijuana. If you choose to utilize marijuana for medicinal purposes, you will enroll in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program. Once you have been enrolled in the program, the department of health will give you a registry card and make a mark on your driving record that you are legally allowed to carry medicinal marijuana. 

Whether you are a medicinal or recreational user of marijuana, you must comply with Illinois state law. Most notably, you are only allowed to transfer marijuana in an odorless and childproof case. If an officer has reason to believe that you may be under the influence of marijuana, they will ask you to submit to either chemical testing or some form of field sobriety test. It is important to understand that it is not illegal for you to refuse to take part in these tests. While refusing after you are arrested will result in a license suspension of 12 months, refusal is an administrative offense, not a criminal charge, and thus will not show up on your criminal record. 


Oak Brook drunk driving defense attorneyAccording to an annual report on DUI arrests in Illinois, law enforcement efforts remain one of the most significant deterrents to drunk driving. The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) has been producing this report for over 25 years in order to highlight the efforts of individual police departments and specific officers. 

Illinois State Police Make the Largest Number of DUI Arrests

According to the latest AAIM report, the Illinois State Police make more than 5,000 DUI arrests each year. They get credit for making the most arrests of any law enforcement agency in the state, in part because they employ more than 1,700 troopers. However, when you consider the ratio of DUI arrests per sworn officer, the State Police ratio of three arrests per officer per year is well below the arrest rate for several county and city police departments. Still, anyone thinking about drinking and driving on the interstate highways should think twice, because there is a good chance of being caught by a state trooper.

Several DuPage County Cities Rank High in DUI Arrests

You might think that the city of Chicago, with over 12,000 sworn officers, would also have a large number of DUI arrests. However, the opposite is true. With just under 2,000 DUI arrests per year, the CPD makes just 0.1 arrests per officer per year.


DuPage County DUI defense lawyerThe ubiquitous red Solo cup is likely to appear in your hand at some point during a seasonal party. Here are some handy tips to help you track your alcoholic beverage consumption in terms of the current standard, 18-ounce, squared Solo cup. Knowing how much you have consumed will help you stay safe and avoid the chance of an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI).

What Constitutes a “One Drink” of Beer, Wine, or Liquor

With today’s wide variety of alcoholic beverage choices, you really have to be aware of the alcohol content of your drink of choice. The number of ounces one “standard” serving varies from 1 ounce to 12 ounces:

  • Bourbon or whiskey labeled “barrel proof” or “single barrel” (120 proof, 60% alcohol): 1 ounce.
  • Standard liquor (80 proof, 40% alcohol): 1.5 ounces.
  • Wine, champagne, sparkling wine (12% alcohol): 5 ounces.
  • Imperial stout or double IPA (10% alcohol): 6 ounces.
  • Craft beer (6% alcohol): 10 ounces.
  • Regular beer (4.5% alcohol): 12 ounces.
  • Hard cider or hard lemonade (5% alcohol): 12 ounces.

How to Manage Your Consumption by Solo Cup

When mixing a cocktail, pour the liquor in first. 3 ounces will amount to about an inch of liquid in the bottom of your Solo cup. The liquid should just touch the bottom of the word Solo that is spelled down the side of the cup. Add mixer and ice, and that will be the equivalent of two drinks. (Let us assume the use of real glasses for those single barrel bourbons and whiskeys.)


Illinois DUI defense lawyersWhen a driver is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the police will do some preliminary tests, roadside. If the police believe they have probable cause for a DUI arrest, the driver will then be taken to a nearby police station (or sometimes to a hospital) for chemical testing. When the driver is finally released from police custody, yet another problem must be faced: what happened to their car?

Vehicles Used in DUI Typically End Up in an Impound Lot

Every police department has one or more authorized companies that can be summoned to tow and store vehicles that have been, for example, wrecked in an accident, illegally parked, or left at roadside following a DUI arrest. The police will inform a driver arrested for DUI where their car has been towed.

Towing and storage fees alone can easily add up to hundreds of dollars. The city or county where the DUI occurred may also charge an administrative fee since a city police officer or sheriff’s deputy had to take the time to arrange the towing.  In DuPage County, the administrative fee alone can be as high as $500.


Illinois DUI defense lawyerWhen the police see someone driving erratically, they often jump to the conclusion that the person must be driving drunk or high. In such cases, a police officer may be predisposed to find reasons to request a breathalyzer test and make a DUI arrest. By the time they are done with you, you may feel like you have already been convicted. But breathalyzer tests can be wrong and there are many ways to challenge the results.

Reasons a Breathalyzer Result Could Be Wrong

You will want to let your attorney know about any possible grounds on which the breathalyzer result could be challenged. Here are some examples.  

Waiting period. To ensure that you have not consumed anything that could cause a false reading, the police are supposed to observe you for 20 minutes prior to running an evidentiary breathalyzer test (the one done at the police station). Police procedural error is a common DUI defense strategy.


DuPage County DUI defense attorney, driving impairment, marijuana DUI, Illinois DUI, DUI chargeAs marijuana becomes increasingly mainstream, legal questions arise. Although nothing has come to pass as of this writing, Illinois may become the next state to legalize recreational marijuana usage. 

In March 2017, two state lawmakers introduced legislation to both the House and the Senate which would make it legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess, grow, and purchase pot. If this occurs, or if you qualify for the already legal medicinal marijuana, or even if you are one of those who enjoys the recent decriminalization of small amounts of the substance, questions about impairment and driving come to mind. What constitutes DUI marijuana

Stoned Driving Laws 

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