Reeder & Brown, P.C.


My Child Got Arrested for Drunk Driving. Now What? 

 Posted on March 08, 2023 in Criminal Law

Plainfield Criminal Defense LawyerThe drinking age is 21 in Illinois. However, teenagers often experiment with alcohol before they are able to drink legally. Youth and inexperience are often a dangerous combination, and teenagers who drink may not realize how intoxicated they are. This may lead them to get behind the wheel of a car even if it is not safe or legal to do so.

For adults aged 21 or older, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent. However, for individuals under 21 years old, the legal limit for BAC is 0.00, meaning any amount of alcohol can lead to driver's license suspension and other penalties. A BAC over the legal limit can lead to the same DUI penalties that over-21 individuals face. 

If your child was arrested for drunk driving, an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer can help you determine the best way to handle the situation and provide valuable legal advice to you and your child.

Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving Under the Zero Tolerance Policy

Illinois has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drivers. Even if your child only had a drink or two, he or she can face penalties under the zero-tolerance policy. A first-time offense is punishable by a 3-month driver's license suspension. A second offense is punishable by a driver's license suspension period of one year. To regain driving privileges, the driver must complete a remedial education course and may be required to redo his or her driver's license examination.

Penalties for Underage DUI With a BAC Over the Legal Limit

If an underage driver has a BAC over the legal limit, he or she can face adult DUI consequences, including fines and even jail time in certain situations. Your child may be facing a two-year driver's license revocation if he or she took a chemical BAC test such as a breathalyzer, and the results showed a BAC of 0.08 percent or more. If there are additional signs of impairment or illegal drugs in an underage driver's system, a BAC of 0.05 percent or greater may lead to DUI charges.

Unlike a driver's license suspension, a driver's license revocation is indefinite. If your child wants to get his or her license back after it is revoked, he or she must go to a Secretary of State hearing and prove that it is safe for him or her to drive. Underage DUI offenders may also be required to complete the Youthful Intoxicated Driver’s Visitation Program. A Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) may be available after the first year, which will grant limited driving privileges.

Contact our Joliet Underage DUI Lawyer For Help

If you or your child were arrested for drunk driving, contact our Plainfield DUI defense attorneys for help. At Reeder & Brown, P.C., we understand the complexities of juvenile criminal law and know how to navigate the juvenile justice system and fight for a favorable outcome. We can provide the legal support and advice you need during a time like this. Call 815-885-5980 for a free initial consultation.



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