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What an Underage DUI Charge Could Mean For Your Child 

Posted on in Underage DUI

What an Underage DUI Charge Could Mean For Your Child Consumption of alcohol as a minor (a person under the age of 21) is against the law in Illinois. Getting behind the wheel of a car, after consuming alcohol, can be especially dangerous for people under the legal drinking age. Due to the inherent danger of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the legal consequences of a DUI charge can be incredibly severe. If your child is charged with a DUI, it is important to speak with a legal professional. 

The Zero Tolerance Law 

In 2017, a staggering 397 drivers under the age of 21 lost their driving privileges due to violations of Illinois’ Zero Tolerance law. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, the Zero Tolerance policy was officially established in 1995. The law states that if a driver under the legal drinking age is found with traces of alcohol in their system, they may face driver’s license suspension. It is important to note that a minor does not have to be driving with a blood alcohol concentration over the standard legal limit of 0.08 to be in violation of the Zero Tolerance policy. Violation of the zero-tolerance policy results in a mandatory three-month license suspension. 

The Legal Consequences of an Underage DUI

Penalties for underage drivers are more severe if their BAC is 0.08 or higher. A first-time DUI conviction is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in fines up to $2,500 and as long as one year in prison. For drivers under the age of 21, even a first-time DUI conviction automatically amounts to a two-year driver’s license revocation. For minors, restricted driver’s permit (RDP) eligibility is not warranted until the second year of the revocation. 

The consequences grow even harsher if your child is convicted of multiple DUIs. A third DUI conviction is a Class 4 Felony. With the felony charges, comes a mandatory prison sentence of 18 months and fines up to $25,000. In Illinois, 1,160 drivers under the age of 21 were convicted of DUIs during 2017.

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

If your child is convicted of a DUI, the potential consequences can go much further than fines. Even one DUI conviction can drastically impact your child’s ability to pursue further education, secure housing, and land quality employment options. Fortunately, a quality defense team can help you and your family secure the best possible legal outcome and potentially avoid a conviction altogether. 

At McMahon Law Offices, our legal team believes that no child should face life-changing consequences due to one mistake. To schedule a free initial consultation with a quality DuPage County criminal defense attorney, contact our team today at 630-953-4400. 

Sources

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

DuPage County Bar Association Top 100 Illinois State Bar Association AVVO Rating Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association AVVO Reviews
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