What Happens if You’re Under 21 and Charged with A DUI?

Posted on November 20th, 2019 by Danielle Giannola

While being charged with a DUI is a serious matter for everyone, Illinois law is particularly tough on people under the age of 21 when it comes to alcohol and driving. While the below provides the basic information on underage DUIs, it is always best to contact your criminal defense lawyer in Lemont, Illinois at Giannola Legal LLC to help you navigate the intricacies of DUI laws.

Underage DUI

Like all drivers, people under the age of 21 can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher or if their ability to drive is impaired by alcohol. The penalty for an underage DUI is a minimum two-year suspension of your driver’s license. If you are convicted of a second DUI while under 21, your license will be suspended for at least five years.
In addition to suspending your license, the court may sentence you to up to 364 days in jail. You may also be ordered to complete a drug and/or alcohol abuse treatment program, pay fines, and complete community service hours.

If you have been charged with an underage DUI, it is imperative that you contact Giannola Legal LLC immediately so that our team of criminal defense lawyers in Lemont, Illinois, and the surrounding areas can begin working on your case to ensure that you receive the best defense possible for your charge.

Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Law

Drivers under the age of 21 have to worry about more than just a DUI when they mix alcohol and driving. Illinois has a Zero Tolerance Law: if the police find any alcohol in your system while driving under the age of 21, your license will be suspended. Even if your BAC is only .01%, you will lose your driving privileges. The first time you’re caught with a BAC over .00% but under .08%, your license will be suspended for three months. The second time, you’ll face a 1-year suspension.

If your license is suspended for any reason before your 21st birthday, you’ll need to complete a remedial driver’s education course and pay a reinstatement fee to the Secretary of State before you can get your license back. You may also need to have a hearing before a Secretary of State Hearing Officer and/or to retake the driver’s license exam (written and/or driving test).

Refusal to Submit to a BAC Test

It’s important to know that you can’t avoid the penalties listed above by refusing to take a BAC test when the police ask. If you refuse, though your criminal case will be substantially better, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for 6 months. For your second refusal, your license will be suspended for 2 years.

Our experienced criminal defense lawyer in Lemont, Illinois, and the surrounding Chicagoland area, offer free, no time-limit consultations. Contact Giannola Legal LLC today if you or a loved one was charged with a DUI.


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