Inform your teen of the legal consequences. In Illinois, there is a "Use It & Lose It" zero tolerance law for persons under age 21. Drivers under 21 who have illegally consumed any amount of alcohol (even a "taste") are considered to be "driving under the influence" (DUI) and are subject to penalties of driver's license suspension for a minimum of two years, possible imprisonment for up to 12 months, 100 hours of community service and a fine of up to $2,500. The penalties get much stiffer for second and third convictions. In addition, the violator can be ordered to participate in a program that includes visits to morgues or facilities that treat DUI victims.
The holidays are a time of partying and celebration and not surprisingly, a time when drunk driving dramatically increases. In Illinois, those charged with a DUI offense, or “driving under the influence,” face serious penalties if proven guilty. First offenders can lose their driver’s license for up to one year, be imprisoned for up to 12 months, be required to perform 100 hours of community service, and pay a fine of up to $2,500, or any combination thereof.
Those convicted of drunk driving may lose work time, have their vehicle impounded and be required to carry high-risk auto insurance for 36 months. The penalties are more severe for second and third convictions. A fourth conviction will result in the driver’s license being permanently revoked.
If stopped by the police for a probable DUI, a driver may be given a breathalyzer test. If it is at .08 or higher, the driver’s driving privileges will be suspended for 6 months. If the driver refuses to take the test, his or her license will be automatically suspended by the Secretary of State for one year.
Parents or guardians who supply alcohol to drinkers under age 21 in their home can be found liable for both criminal and civil penalties – if the underage drinker is injured or injures someone else. However, parents usually won't be held liable if they were unaware of or had no reason to know that underage drinkers consumed alcohol in their home. Penalties can be severe and include prison time and a fine.
The approaching holiday season typically means increased enforcement by police for motorists who drive while intoxicated. In Illinois, a DUI can lead to serious penalties including large fines, driver’s license suspension, and jail or prison time. These penalties increase if a drunk driver causes an accident or injures someone. Driving under the influence (DUI) charges are brought against any driver testing at .08 percent BAC (blood-alcohol content) or higher. Stricter penalties apply for drivers with a BAC of .20 percent or more, as well as drivers who refuse to comply with BAC testing. Drivers under the age of 21 may not have any blood-alcohol content upon being tested.
In Illinois, breath tests that are presented as evidence in court must be done at the police station. A preliminary breath test is often done at the scene but is not admissible as evidence in a DUI trial.