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What Are the Full Consequences of Underaged Drinking in Illinois?

 Posted on August 09, 2019 in Underage Drinking

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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