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Underage DUI Accidents: Zero Responsibility? Zero Tolerance

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,The Illinois State Police report that the average college student spends more money on alcohol than they spend on books. That fact alone is enough to bring anyone’s attention to the alarming nature of drunk driving accident statistics. They also report that drivers under the age of 21 are involved in 17 percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes. Those drivers represent only 10 percent of licensed drivers in the state of Illinois, but the fatalities, injuries, and disabilities they cause due to driving under the influence are life-altering and irreversible.

Parental Involvement

It should go without saying that parents should not allow underage adults to drink alcohol, but sadly it is a common occurrence for parents to allow those under 21 to drink under their supervision at home. Some parents even go so far as to hide and defend the underage drinker when they are caught driving. Illinois already has a Zero Tolerance law in place for underage drinking and driving, but parents should be aware that the state considers it a Class 4 felony when a parent knowingly allows an underage person to consume alcohol. This type of felony can mean one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.00. If you take zero responsibility for allowing a minor to drink, Illinois State Police will enforce zero tolerance on your actions when it comes time to address the felony. Are There Any Exceptions?

The Zero Tolerance law went into effect in January of 1995 and strictly enforces its ban on underage drinking and driving, resulting in jail time and driver’s license suspension, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the drunk driving incident. The only exception for minors who consume alcohol and are found driving is for those who drank the alcohol as part of a religious service or ceremony. One other exception is taken into consideration for minors who ingest certain prescribed medications that contain alcohol.

It does not matter if a minor is found to have opened or unopened alcoholic beverages. If the drinks are found in their possession, they are at fault.

Sadly, no matter how much you may have instilled the dangers of drinking and driving in your teen, not all parents are as responsible. If you or a family member have been injured in a drunk driving crash caused by an underage driver, contact an experienced Lake County car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against not only the driver responsible for the crash, but also the adults who provided the teen driver with alcohol. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 to schedule a free consultation today.

Sources:

http://isp.state.il.us/traffic/drnkdriving.cfm

http://isp.state.il.us/docs/5-431.pdf

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