In the United States, drinking is a sort of rite of passage for many teenagers, though it is illegal. One of the worst things a teenager can do when they have been drinking is get behind the wheel of a car. Driving while you are under the influence of alcohol, or any other drug for that matter, is illegal for anyone, no matter your age. For those who are under the age of 21, drinking and driving is a much more serious offense, and young offenders face harsher penalties.
Zero Tolerance Laws
Most states have developed some form of zero tolerance laws for underage DUI offenders. These laws have helped underage DUI offenses become less common, but they still happen and they are still punished accordingly.
In Illinois, if a person under the age of 21 is pulled over on suspicion of intoxicated driving and their BAC is more than .00, he or she will face penalties in alignment with the zero tolerance laws. For a first offense, driving privileges will be suspended for three months for a BAC over .00. If the offender refuses to submit to a chemical test, driving privileges are suspended for six months.
Underage DUI Penalties
If a person under the age of 21 is convicted of DUI, they will receive all of the same penalties as someone who is over the age of 21. This means that for a first offense, underage DUI offenders face up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. Since they are under the age of 21, offenders will also face a minimum of two years of driver’s license revocation and will not be eligible for a restricted driving permit (RDP) until the second year of the revocation. In addition, a judge can also order an underage DUI offender to participate in the Youthful Intoxicated Driver’s Visitation Program....