Consequences for Underage DUI in Illinois
A drunk driving arrest is already serious enough for adults, who have some leeway for error. If you’re over twenty-one, you’ll need to stay under a certain limit (.08 is the legal limit in Illinois) to safely drive. For those under the age of twenty-one, there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving.
Unfortunately, that means your child might be facing consequences for underage DUI in Illinois. When this happens, you’ll need to act now to deal with those penalties. If not, you and your child could be dealing with the consequences of the DUI case for years after a conviction.
Penalties for a Conviction
A DUI conviction is almost always severe. Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor in Illinois, which means that jail time and fines are a possibility. Sadly, that’s true even if you (or your child) are under twenty-one.
If your child is convicted for a first-time offense, they could possibly face up to a year in jail. If there are any aggravating factors, that’s especially true. For example, if their blood-alcohol content was above the adult legal limit, they may face harsher penalties.
They could also have up to $2,500 in fines. If they’re between sixteen and twenty, that debt may be added to their burden along with student debt. Worse, they may not be able or old enough to work, meaning that you’ll need to cover those fines for them, or they’ll be left dealing with them long after the conviction. Unfortunately, the penalties won’t end there.
You Could Lose Your License
If your child is convicted of an underage DUI, that penalty will remain on their record and affect their license for a minimum of two years. A license suspension leaves them unable to drive, which means difficulty finding transportation to school or work. They may still be unable to drive by the time they graduate college or are able to legally drink.
Worse, they can lose their license for refusing a sobriety test, too. In Illinois, drivers are subject to implied consent, which means that you consent to a sobriety test if you have a license. If your child refused a breathalyzer or other test, their driver’s license may be automatically suspended.
That’s why it’s important to understand the potential penalties before you act. That way, you know what to expect, and you know how to respond when it’s your future or your child’s future on the line in Illinois.
Talk to an Illinois Lawyer about an Underage DUI
If your child was pulled over for drinking and driving, you’ll need to act now to protect their future. You and your family could face the consequences for an underage DUI in Illinois for years to come. That puts a strain on you and your loved ones that you don’t need, but it’s one that you can defend yourself from with help from an Illinois juvenile defense attorney.
At Chicago Trusted Attorneys, we understand how tough fighting an underage DUI can be. Fortunately, we also have the tools you’ll need to stand the best chance of getting these underage drunk driving charges dismissed. If your child has been arrested and you’re struggling to recover, reach out for help by calling 312-931-5411 or by completing the following online form.