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Zero Tolerance/Underage Drinking

Under Illinois' Zero Tolerance Law, a driver under age 21 caught with any trace of alcohol in his/her system will lose his/her driving privileges.

A law enforcement officer may request a chemical test after a traffic stop and issuance of a citation for any offense, when the officer has probable cause to believe an underage driver has any trace of alcohol in his/her system. After administering such tests, the law enforcement officer submits a sworn statement to the Secretary of State's office and the offender's driver's license is suspended.

Zero Tolerance Law

Zero Tolerance While Driving Penalties

Zero Tolerance While Driving Test Refusal

Note: Full driving privileges may not be restored until all applicable reinstatement fees are paid to the Secretary of State's office.

Under 21 DUI Penalties

Any person under age 21 also may be charged with a DUI: if he/she has a BAC of .08 or more; more than .05 with additional evidence proving impairment; any illegal drugs in his/her system; or other indications of impaired driving.

Driving While Suspended

To relieve undue hardship for drivers over age 16, a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) may be issued after a portion of the suspension period has passed to allow driving for employment, educational or medical purposes.

Illegal Transportation

It is illegal to transport alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of a vehicle. Regardless of whom the alcohol belongs to, everyone in the vehicle may be charged with illegal transportation. The driver will receive the following penalties and the violation on their record, passengers will receive a monetary fine.

Parental Responsibility

Parents/guardians may face a Class 4 Felony, with possible imprisonment of 1-3 years and a fine of up to $25,000, if great bodily harm or death results from knowingly allowing individuals under 21 to drink in their home. Parents will also be held responsible for any damages that accrued as a result of intoxicated underage persons leaving the premises.

Restricted Driving

A nighttime driving restriction is in place Sunday-Thursday, 10 p.m-6 a.m., and Friday-Saturday, 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (local curfews may differ from the nighttime driving restriction).

For more information on the Secretary of State's alcohol education programs, contact:
Traffic Safety Division
2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy.
Springfield, IL 62723
800-252-2904 (TTY)