The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

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IL defense lawyerThere is a minimum drinking age in the United States for a reason. The law was put into place because there are a number of concerns when teenagers or younger drink alcohol. Minors under the age of 21 years old will face misdemeanor charges if they are caught drinking alcoholic beverages. However, there are also several health and social consequences that underage drinking can lead to.

In Illinois, there is one exception when it comes to possessing alcohol and that is for those who are bartenders. Establishments may hire those as young as 18 years old to distribute alcohol to customers, but they still cannot consume the drinks themselves.

Buying and Selling Alcohol to Minors

It is unlawful for any person(s) under the legal drinking age of 21 years old to buy or attempt to buy alcoholic beverages with the help of a fake ID. First offenders will have their driver’s license suspended for three months and be under court supervision for six months. Subsequent offenses turn the suspension into a one-year term and court supervision will be required for the full year as well.

If a minor attempts to purchase alcohol using another person’s ID, their license can be revoked even without a conviction.

Additionally, Illinois law says that any person who is over the drinking age cannot purchase and/or sell alcohol to minors. The crime is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and one year in prison for first offenders. Subsequent offenses will lead to fines of up to $25,000 and a higher jail term.

If a minor is caught consuming alcohol in a private home and the parents know it is happening, the adults will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and be fined at least $500. Felony charges can be issued if the illegal activity leads to injury or death.

How Is a Minor’s Social Life Affected by Underaged Drinking?

A lot of times a teenager will start drinking as a result of peer pressure. In this stage of their lives, teenagers long to be accepted by their peers and want to fit in, even if it means doing something that is harmful to their health.

If a teen turns away from drinking, they may not be as “popular” with the rest of the teens at school, but they will be safe from certain medical consequences including:

  • Stunted brain development
  • Alcoholism
  • Damage to internal organs including the stomach and liver
  • Higher risk of cancer
  • Weight gain
  • Early death

Teens can also suffer academic consequences if caught drinking illegally. Schools in Illinois have zero tolerance for underage drinking; if caught, a student can be stripped of extracurricular activities, face suspension, or even be expelled from school.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you know is facing underage drinking penalties, hiring a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help protect you from the legal ramifications. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County underage drinking defense attorney, call 847-488-0889.




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IL DUI lawyerEven though the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years old, underaged drinking happens all the time. Especially if the minors are not being given proper parental supervision. In Illinois, there is a zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving under the influence . The Illinois Zero Tolerance Law states that anyone under the age of 21 that is caught driving under the influence will lose their driving privileges.

DUI vs. Zero Tolerance Penalties

A driver under the age of 21 who is pulled over for suspected DUI can be issued either a simple DUI charge or a Zero Tolerance charge or both. This decision is made solely by the officer who makes the traffic stop.

The officer makes his or her decision based on the results or refusal of the field sobriety test and the chemical test that is taken on site.

  • According to Illinois law, if a person under the age of 21 is charged under the Zero Tolerance Law, they are punished by:
  • Suspension of driving privileges for three months for first offenders and one year for second offenders.
  • If a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Test is refused, driving privileges are suspended for six months for first offenders and two years for second offenders.

If a person under the age of 21 is charged with a DUI, they are punished by:

  • First offense: Driving privileges are revoked for two years.
  • Second offense: Driving privileges are revoked for five years.

Illinois law also holds parents responsible for their minor child’s actions. If a minor is charged with a DUI, the parents or guardian or the child can face criminal penalties.

Can my Driving Privileges be Taken Away Even if I’m not Driving?

If you are under the age of 21 and are consuming alcohol, then you are breaking the law. It does not matter if you are driving or not. If you are caught consuming, purchasing, or possessing alcohol then driving privileges can be taken, according to the Zero Tolerance Law.

Penalties are more severe based on a number of offenses:

  • First offense: Driving privileges are suspended for six months.
  • Second offense: Driving privileges are suspended for one year.
  • Subsequent offenses: Driving privileges are revoked.

Contact an Elgin, Illinois DUI Defense Attorney

Underage drinking charges are serious offenses that can have serious consequences if you do not have an experienced attorney on your side. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build a defense to keep you free from DUI convictions. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense attorney, call 847-488-0889.



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Aurora, IL Underage Drinking Lawyer

Underage drinking is on the decline nationwide, with only an average of 14 percent of American 12th-grade students stating they binge drink alcohol on a regular basis. Still, thousands of American teenagers take part in underage drinking, which is dangerous for a number of reasons. This includes driving under the influence of alcohol. 

It is also important to understand an illegal consumption charge can come with serious legal consequences. If your son or daughter is charged with underage drinking, it is time to secure skilled legal assistance. 

Underage Drinking Dangers 

Outside of the serious legal trouble that can come with underage drinking, consuming alcohol as a minor is a legitimate health threat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), underage drinking is responsible for an average of 4,300 deaths in the United States every year. Many of these deaths are due to alcohol poisoning, but a large percentage are due to drinking and driving. Drunk drivers under the age of 21 are more likely than any other age group to be involved in an auto accident. Other common health symptoms related to underage drinking include memory problems, alterations in brain development, and potential abuse of other drugs. 

Consequences of Underage Drinking 

Here in the state of Illinois, underage drinking brings a three-month driver’s license suspension if court supervision is ordered or six months for a conviction. Due to the zero-tolerance policy on underage drinking and driving, a teen driver with a blood alcohol content over .01 could face serious criminal punishment. An underage drinking and driving conviction can mean up to a year in jail, a minimum two-year license revocation, and a $2,500 fine. 

Contact an Elgin, IL Underage Drinking Lawyer 

With decades of legal experience, Attorney Brian J. Mirandola knows how damaging an underage drinking charge can be to a child’s future, and will fight to keep a conviction off your child’s record. To schedule a free consultation with a skilled Kane County criminal defense attorney, call our team today at 847-488-0889. 


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Posted on in Underage Drinking

zero tolerance, Elgin criminal defense attorneyUnderage drunk driving accidents comprise a disturbingly large portion of Illinois auto accidents. Despite the dangers, they continue to be a longstanding problem on the roadways as many underage drivers seem to remain unaffected by the facts. According to the Illinois State Police, about two out of every five Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives, making the need for a proactive approach to underage drunk driving an ongoing, urgent matter.

Legal Consequences: The Basics

Illinois maintains a so-called "Zero Tolerance" law in regard to drivers under the age of 21. As the name implies, a driver not of legal drinking age who is found to have any trace of alcohol in his or her system can be charged with driving under the influence, or DUI. One could argue that not every driver in such a situation is necessarily impaired, but the Zero Tolerance law means that proving impairment is not necessary.

The Zero Tolerance law brings an emphasized focus on the fact that the state makes no exceptions for underage driving under the influence. Legal consequences of a conviction for underage DUI include:

  • First Underage Conviction - Loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 2 years, a fine of up to $2,500, plus possible imprisonment for up to 1 year;
  • Second Underage Conviction - Mandatory jail time (48 hours) or 10 days of community service, loss of driving privileges for 3 years or more, a fine of up to $2,500, plus possible imprisonment for up to 1 year; and
  • Third Underage Conviction - A third conviction is considered a Class 4 Felony and includes a fine of up to $25,000, up to 3 years of prison time, plus the loss of basic driving privileges for a minimum of 6 years.

Legal consequences may also extend to any parents who knowingly allow underage indviduals to possess and consume alcohol in their home, should any bodily harm or death occur because of such actions. Even the mere transportation of alcohol by underage drivers is illegal, resulting in a fine of up to $1,000 and driver’s license suspension.

Other Consequences

In addition to criminal and administrative penalties, an underage driver found to be operating under the influence may be required by the court to attend the Youthful Intoxicated Driver’s Visitation Program. Under this program, the offender views the results of DUI crashes and alcoholism at a specific location, which is often a condition of discharge or probation.

If you or your child has been arrested for underage DUI, you need an attorney who is ready to fight on your behalf. Contact an experienced Elgin DUI defense lawyer today to discuss your case and explore your available options. Call 847-488-0889 and schedule a free, confidential consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.


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Posted on in Fraud

fake id, underage drinking, Illinois criminal defense lawyerAdvances in digital technology have made producing and obtaining a false driver’s license or identification care easier than ever. Individuals under the age of 21, obviously, are the most likely try to use fake IDs to get into bars and nightclubs or to purchase alcohol. Fake IDs may also be created and obtained as part of larger identity theft schemes to illegally access a victim’s assets or accounts. Whatever their intended purpose, possession of a fraudulent identification card is prosecutable under law, and potential penalties in Illinois are among the most severe in the country.

What Constitutes a Fake ID?

An identification card that is passed off as an official identification card from any governmental or quasi-government organization that contains false or altered information is considered a "fraudulent identification card" under the Illinois Identification Card Act. A card need only resemble an official ID, or use the words "official," "state," "Illinois," or any other state name to be considered a fake ID.

Getting Caught

The vast majority of fake IDs are used in the attempt to gain access to bars, clubs, and alcohol by those who are not yet of legal age. Recent efforts to curb underage drinking and fake ID use in the state have led to more knowledgeable bouncers and bar staff with better training to spot a fraudulent card. MTV News recently reported that bouncers are more likely to simply confiscate a fake ID and deny access to the establishment than anything else. Bar staff frequently do not have a vested interest in pursuing further action. On occasion, however, the card may be turned over to the police and a person caught with a fake ID could face serious consequences.

Potential Penalties

The Illinois Identification Card Act specifies that it is a Class 4 felony "to knowingly possess, display, or cause to be displayed any fraudulent identification card." Penalties include up to three years in prison, mandatory minimum fines of $500 or community service, and a one year suspension of driving privileges. The use of fake IDs to access accounts or information, or to commit other crimes, carries even more significant consequences. As a felony, convictions related to possessing a fake ID could potentially follow an individual for years to come, and may limit future opportunities.

It IS a Big Deal

College students and other young adults insist that using fake IDs to get into bars is pretty harmless or "not that big a deal." Law enforcement and the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State believe otherwise. Fake IDs and underage drinking are a big deal and the laws of the state will continue to treat them as such.

If you are facing charges related to possessing a fraudulent identification card or underage drinking in Illinois, you need lawyer on your side who understands the legal process. Contact an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney today for consultation. We can help you understand the options available to you and ensure your rights are protected.

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