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Consequences in Illinois for Underage Drinking

 Posted on February 20,2024 in Criminal Defense

Will County criminal defense lawyerIn Illinois, like in many other states across the country, underage drinking carries significant legal consequences. The state has strict laws and penalties in place to deter minors from consuming alcohol and to hold them accountable for their actions. Understanding these consequences is crucial for both minors and their parents or guardians. If your teen has been charged with underage drinking, it is crucial to contact an Illinois defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Illinois Underage Drinking Law

The legal drinking age in Illinois, as in all states in the U.S., is 21. Anyone under this age who is caught consuming, possessing, purchasing, or attempting to purchase alcohol can face serious criminal charges. These charges can have long-lasting effects on their lives, education, employment opportunities, and personal relationships.

One of the primary criminal consequences of underage drinking in Illinois is a charge of minor in possession or consumption of alcohol. A minor can be charged if they are found to have alcohol, even if they are not actively consuming it at the time of the arrest. Similarly, a minor can face charges if they are caught drinking alcohol, regardless of where or how they obtained it.

The penalties for underage drinking convictions in Illinois can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the minor's prior criminal record. However, common consequences include suspension of driving privileges, alcohol education programs, community service, and fines. In some cases, the minor may also be required to attend substance abuse counseling or treatment programs.

Drinking and Driving

Minors who choose to drink and drive can face even harsher penalties under Illinois' Zero Tolerance Law. This law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from operating a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. Even a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below the legal limit of 0.08% can result in a DUI charge for underage drivers.

The consequences of a DUI conviction for a minor in Illinois can be severe. They may include license suspension, mandatory participation in alcohol treatment programs, fines, and even jail time. A DUI conviction can also impact a minor's future, affecting their ability to obtain car insurance, secure employment, and pursue certain educational opportunities.

Social Host Law

If a minor is caught drinking, not only do they face legal consequences, but the person who provided that alcohol can also be held accountable under the state's Social Host Law. Under this law, any adult who knowingly allows underage drinking to occur on their property or who provides alcohol to minors can face both criminal charges and civil liability.

Contact a Will County, IL Criminal Defense Attorney for a Free Consultation

If your child has been charged with underage drinking or underage DUI, you need a skilled Aurora, IL juvenile justice lawyer to defend them. Your child's future can be significantly impacted depending on the outcome of these charges. Call Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC at 630-448-2001 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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