If you are a minor in Illinois, it is illegal to consume any amount of alcohol. If you have been charged with underage driving under the influence (DUI) or underage consumption of alcohol, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side to help you keep your record clean. Your educational and employment future is at stake.
At Warren J. Breslin Law Offices, attorney Breslin has extensive experience defending underage clients from drinking charges. As a former prosecutor and Chicago police officer, he knows how evidence will be used against you. He will defend you from unlawful searches and seizures and protect your rights.
If you are under 21 and are driving with any amount of alcohol in your system, you should refuse a Breathalyzer test and never admit to drinking or possessing alcohol. Even if not charged with DUI, you could be charged with consumption of alcohol as a minor, a Class A misdemeanor, which carries the same possible penalty as a DUI. You could also face a "zero tolerance" suspension of your driver's license or permit.Underage and Juvenile DUI
Underage defendants in DUI cases are exposed to exceptional scrutiny by the courts. Many judges in their discretion refuse to sentence minors to "court supervision," a non-conviction disposition available to first-offenders in Illinois that prevents a revocation of driving privileges. Those judges believe that saving the license of a youthful drunk driver puts us all at risk when sharing the road. Although it may serve a lofty public purpose, the minor suffers a criminal conviction on his record in addition to his loss of license. It can often begin a downward spiral of defiant criminal driving.Underage Drug Use
Illinois' zero tolerance law also applies to drug use. At any age, any amount of illegal drugs in your system while driving, such as marijuana or cocaine, can result in a DUI conviction. If your vehicle is transporting contraband (drugs), the police can impound your car and it can be seized by the state. A forfeiture action can allow ownership title of your vehicle to be transferred to the state for public use or sale.
Everyone should be aware of the serious consequences of consuming and carrying drugs in a vehicle, but young people are subjected to more frequent police encounters and should be especially mindful of the consequences.
If you have been arrested for DUI or anything as a result of alcohol or drug use, Warren J. Breslin will advise you of your rights and defend you in court. A teenage drunk driving or drug charge can severely impact your future, contact Warren J. Breslin, an experienced Chicago juvenile DUI attorney to discuss your case.