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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. 


Concerns with Underage Drinking and Underage DUIEvery parent worries about their child, so discussing drinking and driving from a parental perspective can be a difficult topic. While the dangers of drinking and driving cannot be understated, the legal ramifications of a drinking and driving conviction can be monumental. There are a number of ways in which a minor can face legal trouble as it pertains to alcohol. Below, we will look at Illinois’ laws on underage drinking, transportation of alcohol, and drinking and driving. If your child has been charged with an underage DUI, it is time to seek out legal assistance. 

Underage Drinking Laws in Illinois 

In the state of Illinois, there are a number of laws in place to discourage minors from consuming alcohol. While it is highly unlikely that a minor will face jail time for an alcohol possession charge, they will face the consequences of:

  • Having a Class A misdemeanor on their record
  • Fines as high as $2,500
  • Suspended driving privileges

Minors can face much more severe criminal charges if they are caught using a fake id. If a minor is apprehended while using another person’s driver’s license or identification card, they will face a Class A misdemeanor charge. If a minor is caught in possession of a falsified Illinois state driver’s license or identification card, they will face felony charges and possible jail time. 


How an Underage Drinking Charge Can Impact Your Child Every year, hundreds of thousands of American teens take part in illegal underage drinking. Outside of the obvious health concerns of underage drinking, it is important for parents to understand the ways in which an underage drinking arrest can potentially impact your child’s future. Depending on the severity of the charge, an alcohol-related arrest can lead to serious fines, impact your child’s advanced education opportunities, and even potentially lead to jail time. If your child is charged with an alcohol-related crime, it is time to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional. 

Underage Drinking Charges in Illinois

Recognizing the way in which the activity can impact a child’s health, underage drinking is punished harshly in the state of Illinois. If a minor is found in possession of alcohol, they will face a driver’s license suspension of at least three months. If a minor is apprehended while transporting alcohol in a motor vehicle, they can face fines as high as $1,000 (this fine also applies to other minors in the vehicle, not just the driver). The driver of the vehicle will face a mandatory one-year license revocation period. While the consequences of drinking alcohol as a minor are significant, the legal ramifications of providing a minor with alcohol are much more severe. If you are charged with providing alcohol to a minor, you could face fines as high as $2,500 and a misdemeanor charge. It should be noted that there are a number of factors that can elevate the misdemeanor charge to a felony.

Drinking and Driving Underage

In the state of Illinois, law enforcement officials are constantly on the lookout for inebriated drivers. The “zero tolerance” law states that minors are prohibited from operating motor vehicles with a blood alcohol content over 0.0. The first offense for violating the zero-tolerance policy comes with a three-month license suspension. If the minor refuses to use a breathalyzer test, the suspension will be increased to a six-month suspension. If the driver is over the age of 18, they can regain their driving privileges after serving 30 days of the suspension and obtaining a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). If the driver is caught operating a vehicle without a BAIID, they will face Class 4 felony charges. If a minor’s blood alcohol content is over the legal limit of 0.08, they will face a two-year license revocation period and up to one year in prison. 


IL DUI lawyerWith the legal drinking age set at 21 nationwide, you would not expect there to be many arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) among people under age 21. Yet over 2,000 Illinois youth received punishment for underage driving and driving in 2016. If you are suspected of drinking and driving, the penalties you may face are substantially tougher if you are under age 21 than if you are age 21 or older.

The Legal Limit for Blood Alcohol is Lower for Underage Drivers

If you are at least 21 years old, you are considered guilty of DUI when you have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. You can also be charged with DUI if your BAC is .05 or higher and there is additional evidence that your driving was impaired.


IL teen DUI lawyerWhat can happen to a 16- or 17-year-old driver if they get arrested for drinking and driving in DuPage County? In short: A lot. While drivers under the age of 18 have the advantage of being treated as juveniles, rather than adults, in the Illinois legal system, they have the disadvantage that state law is very tough on underage drinking and driving.

Drivers Under Age 18 Go to Juvenile Court

When a minor under the age of 18 is arrested in Illinois, they are processed through the juvenile justice system. By law, the police can only detain 16- and 17-year-olds in a municipal lockup or county jail for a maximum of 12 hours, after which they must either be released to parents or processed for placement in a juvenile facility. If a DUI charge is filed against the juvenile, they can either make a plea deal with the prosecutor or have a bench trial before a judge; juveniles are generally not entitled to jury trials.


Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois defense attorneyOver the past few years, social media has been a main hub for all kinds of communication. Many social media platforms have had their privacy settings set to public so that anyone can see what the users have posted. During the massive evolution of social media, far too many users have abused these platforms and have gotten into serious trouble because of what was posted at that time. In the past, social media has often pinpointed dangerous drinking habits, including drinking and driving, underage drinking, and abusing alcohol overall.

Why Are College Students Displaying Dangerous Drinking Habits on Social Media?

College is a period of time where a young adult may go away to school to discover what life is really like outside of the home. When a student is feeling homesick, he or she may potentially engage in dangerous activities, including underage drinking, and driving while drunk. Oftentimes, college students may use references, such as “blacking out,” “getting wasted,” “getting smashed,” and “being drunk,” to name a few terms. There has been much evidence that many college students who reference dangerous drinking habits on social media are more likely to display drinking problems.


Illinois defense attorneyCommon sense says that it is illegal to use a fraudulent state ID card or driver’s license, or what many people jokingly call a “Fake ID” or a “fakie.” An evening social gathering or a night of drinking at the local bar can be a fun way to spend time with family and friends. However, if a person is caught sneaking into a bar or restaurant with a fake ID, some very serious repercussions may follow.

What Can Happen If Caught with a Fake ID?

If a person is caught using a fake ID, then he or she may lose driving privileges for up to one year. However, trying to obtain a fake ID or driver’s license, allowing another person to use your ID, posing as one’s own ID or driver’s license issued to another person, and allowing unlawful use of a driver’s license or ID will count toward a Class A misdemeanor, with punishment of one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500. Any following offense will count toward a Class 4 felony.

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