A Zero Tolerance offense is not a DUI Charge. Illinois DUI Defense Lawyers understand that you need not be impaired or "under the influence" to violate the Illinois Zero Tolerance law. You only need to be under the age of 21 and be caught driving with alcohol in your system to commit a Chicago Zero Tolerance Policy Offense. ANY amount of alcohol will subject you to Zero Tolerance. And violating the Illinois Zero Tolerance law results in the Suspension of your Driver's License.
Technically, your Driver's License Suspension is a civil administrative penalty and the Illinois Secretary of State undertakes the action if you commit a Chicago Zero Tolerance Policy Offense. But drivers under the age of 21 caught with alcohol in their system might face criminal charges as well. You might be charged with possession of alcohol by a minor or consumption of alcohol by a minor for instance.
Illinois DUI Defense Lawyers will caution that penalties generally are more severe for those who already have prior offenses. And refusal to take a Breathalyzer test or blood test could be treated the same as for adults over 21 that officers suspect of DUI. You face automatic Driver's License Suspension.
An Illinois DUI Charge results when someone 21 or over is caught driving impaired or under the influence of alcohol. In Illinois, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is 0.08%.
For those under the age of 21, Illinois has a Zero Tolerance policy. Zero Tolerance in Illinois means that if someone under 21 is caught driving with ANY alcohol in their system, they will be arrested and their Driver's License suspended. Every U.S. state has some sort of Zero Tolerance statute.
The Illinois Zero Tolerance statute makes it illegal for anyone under age 21 to drive a motor vehicle with any alcohol in their system. We reiterate that you need not be actually impaired or under the influence of alcohol. You just need to have some alcohol in your system to commit a Chicago Zero Tolerance Policy Offense.
To convict you under the Zero Tolerance policy, Illinois prosecutors do NOT need to show that you were impaired. They only need to show that you had some alcohol in your system. For example, a 180-pound male who has had just one beer would typically show a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02%, a clearly measurable amount.
The intent of the Illinois Zero Tolerance policy is clear: to prevent those under the age of 21 from getting behind the wheel if they've had any alcohol whatsoever to drink. The bottom line for underage drinkers is that drinking and driving is a very risky proposition that can have severe consequences on your life. The Illinois Zero Tolerance statute doesn't prohibit underage drinkers from driving while impaired. It prohibits them from drinking and driving, period.
If you are arrested under the Illinois Zero Tolerance law, you should use your right to an attorney. An experienced Illinois DUI Defense Lawyer like Michael Schmiege could represent you in court and help you establish a legal defense for your charge.
Contact experienced Chicago DUI attorney Michael P. Schmiege today for your FREE, no obligation legal consultation. Learn what a charge under the Illinois Zero Tolerance policy might mean to your future. Let Michael Schmiege explain your rights and the legal options you have to fight the charge. Get your FREE legal defense consultation and case evaluation. Michael Schmiege will explain the charges and penalties you're facing in plain language, and tell you how he can help you.
NOT GUILTY – Possession of a Controlled Substance w/ Intent to Deliver
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol – NOT GUILTY
"Michael Schmiege is an excellent attorney. He is honest, diligent and gets great results. If you find yourself in need of a lawyer, he is great at what he does. Never over-promises, but definitely delivered more than we had hoped for. His team will help you all the way. Answers all your questions promptly and clearly states what to expect. I highly recommend Michael and his team. They CAN and will help!"
"Mr. Schmiege is well respected by the court because he is a very honest man. He was very kind and respectful to me. His fees were reasonable. His office is very easy to find, and his staff is very helpful."
"I am so appreciative of the help and support that I received from Michael and his team members! They truly helped me figure out my case and I got outstanding results. If anyone can help you get great results, it’s Michael. I had an immigration issue as well and he worked with my immigration lawyer to help find the best solution. He understood that I made a mistake but it didn’t define who I was. I definitely don’t want to go through any of this again but I’m glad that I had the support to get through this."