Illinois recognizes strict laws and associated penalties when drivers are suspected of operating their vehicles with alcohol in their systems. While drivers of the legal drinking age can face the losses of their licenses, jail time, and significant fines for their alleged wrongful conduct, young drivers can also be penalized for DUI crimes even if their blood alcohol concentrations do not reach the state’s per se BAC limit of .08%.
That is because Illinois has a zero tolerance law on its books that holds underage drivers to a high standard. Individuals who are under the age of 21 may not have any alcohol in their systems when they drive. Other states recognize a slightly elevated BAC for their zero tolerance laws of .02%, but Illinois’ law prohibits any reading for drivers who are underage.
A young driver who registers a BAC reading during a DUI stop can face penalties similar to those of someone 21 and up who is charged with DUI. A violation of Illinois’ zero tolerance law could lead to a young driver’s license suspension and other significant sanctions. A driver’s DUI defense attorney can help them fully understand the potential consequences of their alleged crimes and possible options for moving forward.
A DUI charge for a driver of any age can be crippling to their personal and financial well-being. Individuals who have studied, practiced, and earned the privilege of driving in Illinois often rely on their ability to self-transport to get to school, work, and other important commitments. When they cannot get themselves where they need to go, they may suffer serious challenges in all aspects of their lives. Legal support from knowledgeable criminal and DUI defense attorneys can prepare individuals for facing their alleged drunk driving charges.