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Underage Drinking and Driving Penalties in Illinois

An Illinois car accident involving several teenagers has left one in critical condition and another facing criminal charges for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Illinois has strict DUI laws for minors, and a strong defense by an experienced attorney is beneficial for someone under age 21 accused of DUI.

Naperville DUI Accident

In Naperville, a 16-year-old boy was driving west with two passengers in a Chevrolet Blazer and attempted to make a left turn into a gas station. As he crossed the center line, the Blazer crashed with a Dodge Intrepid driven by a 17-year-old with another 17-year-old passenger in the car.

One of the passengers in the Blazer, a 15-year-old, had to be airlifted to the hospital, where he was in critical condition. The driver of the vehicle was treated and released, then taken into custody by police. He faces several criminal charges for the incident, including:

Underage DUI Consequences

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White spearheaded several programs addressing underage drinking and driving, including the state's zero-tolerance law. Illinois' zero-tolerance law carries stiff penalties for people under age 21 with blood-alcohol concentrations over 0.00 percent or who refuse breath tests when pulled over by police.

According to the 2010 Illinois DUI Fact Book, published by the Secretary of State, an underage driver's first zero-tolerance offense is punishable by a 3- to 6-month license suspension. For a second offense, the driver's license may be suspended for one to two years.

Someone under age 21 convicted of DUI for driving with a blood-alcohol concentration greater than 0.08 percent will have his or her driving privileges revoked for at least two years. First-time offenders also may have to pay a fine of up to $2,500, and they may face up to one year in jail. In addition, a judge may order a person under age 21 convicted of a DUI to participate in Illinois' Youthful Intoxicated Driver's Visitation Program.

If you are under age 21 and have been charged with a DUI offense, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area.