Zero Means Zero: Underage DUI in Illinois

Underage DUI in IllinoisAcross the country, each state has a few DUI laws in common, like the zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. However, each state can determine its own penalties for those violations. An underage DUI in Illinois carries strict penalties, some of which can last well beyond a 21st birthday, regardless of how old the offender is when convicted.

An Underage DUI in Illinois can become two separate charges.

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the big factor in underage DUI in Illinois charges. The “zero” in zero tolerance means that if there is even a trace of alcohol above 0 percent BAC, the minor is guilty of a zero tolerance violation. Up until the legal, per se BAC of .08 percent (the same number for those age 21 and older) the minor can only be charged with a zero tolerance violation. Once that percentage reaches or exceeds .08 percent BAC, then they can also be charged with a DUI in addition to the zero tolerance violation or instead of it.

If an underage DUI in Illinois results in a drunk driving conviction,  the law states that all offenders must install and maintain an ignition interlock device, along with other penalties for an Illinois DUI. Any vehicle the underage minor drives or has access to will need an ignition interlock installed. Parents, you’ll also have to use the ignition interlock device if it is on your vehicles, even if you never drink alcohol.

A violation under .08 BAC will result in the total loss of driving privileges for at least two years, if not longer. Refusing the test will only make things worse, and then there is the court to face, not to mention parents or caregivers. The easiest way to avoid an underage DUI in Illinois is to act like an adult, stay away from alcohol and certainly never drive if you’ve been drinking.

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