If you are arrested for DUI when you are under age 21, you can face somewhat stiffer penalties than if you were older.  For one thing, the Illinois Secretary of State can revoke your driving privileges for at least two years for a first conviction.  Further, under Zero Tolerance, you can lose your license for at least three months if you are found to have any trace of alcohol in your system while operating a motor vehicle even if you were under the legal limit.  The investigating officer has the discretion whether to charge you with Zero Tolerance, DUI or both.

You may also lose your license if you are convicted or received supervision for illegal consumption, purchase, or possession of alcohol or for receiving alcohol as a gift regardless of whether you were driving at the time.

An attorney can help you by reviewing your case for your best possible defense.  Did police have a valid reason to stop you? If not, an attorney may be able to get any evidence from the stop suppressed. Can the state prove all the elements of a DUI beyond a reasonable doubt?  Did anyone see you driving?  Was your driving impaired? If not, an attorney may be able to take your case to trial.

A Zero Tolerance charge may be somewhat harder to fight if police do have probable cause to stop you, and they can prove that any alcohol was in your system.  However, an attorney can still help negotiate a favorable plea agreement. Are you an exemplary student?  Do you volunteer?  Are you involved in any afterschool clubs?  Are their family circumstances that would make the prosecutor want to give you a break? Can you get letters attesting to your otherwise good character?

If your license is suspended before age 21, you will have to successfully complete a driver remedial education course, and you can be required to take a complete driver’s test in order to re-issue your license.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email  matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

Source:  Illinois Zero Tolerance Policy.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)


About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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