Understanding consequences of a DUI for juveniles in Illinois

Driving under the influence represents a severe offense, and in Illinois, the law applies this stringently, regardless of the driver’s age. This firm stance holds especially true for juvenile drivers, who are subject to the state’s Zero Tolerance Law. For those under 21, even a trace of alcohol in their system can lead to harsh consequences.

Juvenile DUIs hold immense potential to disrupt a young person’s life significantly. The following sections detail the potential punishments a juvenile faces if convicted of a DUI in Illinois.

Suspension of driving privileges

Under the Zero Tolerance Law, any driver under the age of 21 who tests positive for alcohol will lose their driving privileges. For the first offense, there is a mandatory license suspension of three months. If the offender refuses to undergo alcohol testing, the suspension period extends to six months.

Fines and court costs

A juvenile convicted of DUI in Illinois could face fines and court costs. The exact amount can vary but it is often in the thousands of dollars.

Probation, community service and remedial education

Many first-time juvenile offenders receive probation instead of jail time. This probation period can range from 12 to 60 months and often includes mandatory community service hours. The court may also require the offender to participate in a Youthful Intoxicated Driver’s Visitation Program or remedial education courses.


In severe cases, such as when a DUI incident results in injury or death, a juvenile could face incarceration. While Illinois prefers to avoid sentencing minors to jail, the court might deem it necessary in these instances.

Impact on future opportunities

A DUI can impact a juvenile’s future significantly. It can affect college admission prospects, scholarship opportunities and even future employment.

In Illinois, a DUI conviction for a juvenile carries serious and far-reaching consequences. If young people find themselves charged with a DUI, they should reach out to support systems like family for guidance.