Zero Tolerance/Underage Drinking Driver Services

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

If a driver under age 21 is convicted of DUI, he or she face the revocation of their driving privileges for a minimum of two years for a first conviction.

If a driver under age 21, is stopped and issued a citation for a traffic violation, and found to have any trace of alcohol in their system while operating a motor vehicle, his or her driving privileges will be suspended. If the driver refuses to submit to testing, their driving privileges will be suspended.

If a driver's license was suspended prior to age 21, the driver will be required to successfully complete a driver remedial education course to make their driving privileges valid again. In addition, they may be required to submit to a complete driver's license examination to be re-issued a driver's license.

It is at the discretion of the investigating officer and based on test results or a test refusal whether a traffic stop results in a Zero Tolerance or DUI charge or both.

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

A DUI offender under age 18 with suspended or revoked driving privileges may only be eligible for certain types of driving relief. See the Secretary of State's DUI Fact Book for more information.

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

It is illegal for a parent or legal guardian to allow persons under age 21 to consume alcoholic beverages on their private property, or on any property under their control or any vehicle or water craft under their control by either allowing the consumption of alcohol or by failing to control access to the alcohol. If a death or personal injury occurs as a result of consumption, the parent or legal guardian may face criminal penalties.

Purchase, Possession, Receipt or Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

Any person under age 21 convicted of the illegal purchase, possession, receipt or consumption of alcohol will have his/her driving privileges suspended for 6 months for a first conviction, 12 months for a second conviction and revocation of driving privileges for a subsequent conviction.

Any person under age 21 who receives court supervision for the purchase, possession, receipt or consumption of alcohol will have his/her driving privileges suspended for 3 months.

A person under age 21 may not be charged with possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor if he/she requested medical assistance out of concern for another person. The person must remain at the scene after contacting authorities and must cooperate fully with law enforcement including providing their full name and all relevant information pertinent to the incident.

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