In this country teens represent 10 percent of licensed drivers, but they are involved 17 percent of alcohol-related car accidents. Once they start college, many kids spend more money alcohol than they do on books. This points to a disturbing trend of bad decision-making skills among our youth and a tendency to ignore the consequences of their actions.
An Illinois underage DUI is the result of those bad decisions.
In Illinois, underage DUIs carry stiff penalties. With Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Law, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over .00 percent, you will be arrested immediately and your license will be suspended for three months. If you refuse BAC testing, your license is suspended for six months. With the new driving relief law, not only are you required to serve 30 (or more) days of hard suspension and have an ignition interlock device in place, but you must be 18 years old to obtain driving relief. Otherwise, you may have to serve the entirety of your suspension without relief.
If your BAC is over .08 percent when you are underage, you will be penalized much more harshly. You will be subjected to both driving sanctions and criminal underage DUI penalties. The driving sanction for a first offense Illinois underage DUI is a six-month suspension of your driving privileges, and in the case of a criminal conviction, penalties include up to one year in jail, fines up to $2,500, and a two year license suspension without the ability to obtain driving relief for a year, and that’s only if you’re over 18.
Under certain circumstances, you can also be charged with an aggravated DUI. Those circumstances include causing great bodily harm or death while driving under the influence, a third or subsequent DUI conviction, or committing a DUI without a license, permit, or insurance. All of these will result in a felony charge which will reflect negatively on you for the rest of your life, to say nothing about the steep financial penalties and extensive jail time.
If you want to keep yourself and your friends safe, stay out of jail and retain your driving privileges, make the smart choice to not drink and drive.