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
- Illinois law prohibits a person under age 21 from purchasing, accepting, possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages. Infractions result in the suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
- Any person under age 21 who receives court supervision for the possession, consumption, purchase, or receipt of alcoholic beverages will receive a 3-month suspension of driving privileges.
- There are exemptions for the consumption of alcohol in the performance of a religious service or for using a prescribed/recommended dosage of medicine.
- All 50 states and the District of Columbia have zero tolerance laws for drivers under age 21.
- Aside from the loss of driving privileges, possible fines and jail time, other consequences caused by drinking and driving may include high insurance costs, mandatory alcohol evaluation and treatment, court and attorney fees and negative long-term effects on your driving record and job opportunities.
Zero Tolerance While Driving Penalties
- First offense — 3-month suspension of driving privileges for a BAC of more than .00.
- Second offense — 1-year suspension of driving privileges for a BAC of more than .00.
Zero Tolerance While Driving Test Refusal
- First violation — 6-month suspension of driving privileges for refusal or failure to complete a BAC test.
- Second violation — 2-year suspension of driving privileges for refusal or failure to complete a BAC test.
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.
- First DUI conviction — Minimum 2-year revocation of driving privileges.
- Second DUI conviction — Minimum 5-year revocation of driving privileges.
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.
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.
- First offense — 12-month suspension of driving privileges.
- Second offense — revocation of driving privileges for a minimum of one year and vehicle registration suspension.
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.
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