In the state of Illinois, adults must be 21-years-old or older in order to consume alcohol. While it is illegal to drink and drive at any age, individuals that are under 21 are held to a zero-tolerance policy. This means that if an individual is caught with even a 0.01% BAC that individual can be charged with a DUI.
According to the Illinois Police Department, drivers over the age of 21 represent about 10% of all licensed drivers. Unfortunately, they are involved in about 17% of all alcohol-related fatal crashes. Crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in Illinois, and nationally about six drivers between 15 and 20 die in motor vehicle crashes every single day.
One survey shows that the average college student spends more money on alcohol than on books. Illinois authorities are focused on discouraging teen and underage drinking and driving by putting hard penalties in line for offenders.
According to the Illinois State Police, a first underage DUI conviction can result in a loss of full driving privileges for at least two years and possible imprisonment for up to one year. Individuals that are charged with this crime also face a $2,500 fine if convicted.
When an underage drinker is caught drinking and driving for the second time, the courts will impose a minimum five-year driving privilege suspension and a mandatory five days of imprisonment or 240 hours of community service. Individuals can also be imprisoned for up to seven years and can be forced to pay a maximum fine of $25,000.
If an individual is apprehended for the third time of an underage DUI, then he or she will lose all driving privileges for ten years, and will be forced to serve 18 to 30 months of periodic imprisonment. The imprisonment can last up to seven years, and can come with a maximum fine of $25,000. Hire a Decatur criminal defense attorney today if you want to learn more about DUI defense.