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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Posted on in Underage Drinking

zero tolerance, Elgin DUI defense attorneysAccording to the Illinois State Police, approximately forty percent of Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives. Underage drunk driving accidents account for a large portion of these auto accidents. The need for a proactive approach to underage drunk driving is an ongoing problem.

Legal Consequences of Drinking and Driving Underage

Illinois maintains a "Zero Tolerance" law for drivers who are underage (under the age of 21). This means that a driver who is not above 21 years old who is caught driving with any trace of alcohol in their system can be charged with driving under the influence. Underage drivers do not need to be impaired in order to be charged with a DUI. Put another way, young people who drink and drive do not need to have a blood alcohol level of .08% or above in order to break the law. Legal consequences of a conviction for drinking and driving while underage include loss of diving privileges for a minimum of 2 years, a fine of up to $2500 and possible imprisonment for up to a year for the first conviction. A second underage DUI conviction will result in 48 hours mandatory jail time or 10 days of community service, the loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 3 years, and possible imprisonment for up to a year. A third underage DUI conviction is a class 4 felony. Those convicted face a fine of up to $25,000, a maximum of 3 years of prison time, and the loss of driving privileges for 6 years or more.

The underage individuals who are caught drinking and driving are not the only people affected by the Zero Tolerance Law. Parents who knowingly allow their underage children or children’s friends to drink alcohol in their home can face legal consequences should those children be hurt or killed in an alcohol-related accident. Underage drivers are also not allowed to transport alcohol. Those found with alcohol in their vehicle can be given a fine of up to $1,000 and have their driver’s license suspended.

Legal Guidance for Those Charged Under a Zero Tolerance Law

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


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