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Juvenile DUI offenses can be harshly penalized

Driving under the influence is a serious crime on its own, but when you're under the age of 21, it becomes a real concern and threat to your future. Anyone caught drinking and driving under age 21 in Illinois loses their driving privileges immediately.

That's the least of the problems, though. On top of the license suspension, the juvenile will need to complete a driver remedial education course to get the license back. They may also have to retake the license exam.

Did you know that the investigating officer can decide on the charges they place? The officer can choose to issue a zero tolerance charge, DUI charge or both, which means that your child could face multiple penalties.

What happens if you refuse a breath test while under 21?

If someone under 21 refuses a breath test, the first violation leads to a 6-month suspension of their driving privileges. A second violation leads to a two-year suspension. These penalties are twice as high as those issued for first and second offenses with a breath test that is not refused.

What penalties are faced by those who drive while intoxicated under the age of 21?

Driving under the influence of alcohol can result in a DUI charge on top of a zero-tolerance charge if the juvenile has a blood alcohol content of .08 percent, is impaired on illegal drugs or has a BAC of .05 percent with evidence proving impairment. A first-time DUI conviction leads to a two-year revocation of driving privileges. A second offense is penalized more harshly with up to five years of revoked driving privileges.

Can teenagers face trouble for transporting alcohol?

If a juvenile DUI offender is not intoxicated but is transporting alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of the vehicle, they may also face penalties. They may face an illegal transportation charge, which is penalized with a 12-month suspension of driving privileges on a first offense.

Parents should keep in mind that their children's actions can lead to trouble for them and result in penalties. Parents and guardians can be held liable for certain acts if their children are hurt or hurt others as a result of being given alcohol or not being restricted from obtaining alcohol. It's illegal for parents or guardians to allow those under 21 to drink on private property or any property under their control in Illinois.

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Juvenile DUI offenses can be harshly penalized | Jim Ryan & Associates