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What happens when a juvenile gets a DUI?

There are zero-tolerance laws in Illinois concerning underage individuals who drink and drive. For a first offense, the arrested party may have a suspended driver's license for up to two years as well as the consequences the person's high school or college imposes. 

There are numerous factors that will affect the penalties a minor faces. For example, there would not be as severe consequences if the juvenile's blood alcohol concentration falls between 0.00 and 0.08 percent compared to if the BAC was higher than 0.08 percent. Drunk driving is a serious offense, and a solid defense is necessary.

Juvenile justice

Teenagers under the age of 18 will most likely go to juvenile court as long as no injuries or fatalities occurred as a result of driving while intoxicated. In addition to license suspension, the individual may also face fines exceeding tens of thousands of dollars, community service and even time in a juvenile detention center. 

With severe penalties on the line, it is paramount for an attorney to offer a decent plea deal or mount a defense. Some issues a juvenile can raise in court include whether the police officer in question had reasonable grounds to pull the car over in the first place, whether he or she drove on a public roadway and whether there were any issues with due process. 

Problems with school

A high school student may receive expulsion from a private high school depending on the school's personal code of ethics. Even if the student can remain at the institution, additional problems may come up when it comes time for the student to apply for college. The student may end up with a misdemeanor or potentially even a felony on his or her record. The student needs to mention this criminal record on all college applications, and it can certainly affect whether the college accepts the student. In the event the student has already received college acceptances, he or she would need to inform the school of the new circumstances. It may work in the student's best interest to seek an expungement of the DUI from all criminal records. 

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