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Talking To Teens About Underage DUI

As parents, you may find that you need to have uncomfortable conversations with your teenagers as they grow up and prepare for adulthood. One of those conversations should be about the consequences of drinking and driving.

Illinois is a zero tolerance state when it comes to underage drinking and driving.  Zero tolerance means that if your child is operating a vehicle and under the age of 21, any detectable amount of alcohol in your system can result in a suspension of driving privileges and potentially even an arrest for DUI, because, a single drink will put your child over the ‘zero tolerance’ limit.

The consequences of DUI in Illinois are steep: loss of driving privileges, up to a $2,500 fine, public service, alcohol rehabilitation classes and even possible jail time. The combination of alcohol and a youthful driver can have far worse personal consequences due to the potential for tragic accidents.

The following points may help you begin a conversation with your child about drinking and driving:

  • A single drink can result in a suspension for someone under the age of 21.
  • Drunk drivers can and do cause tragic accidents.
  • Your child’s driver’s license will be revoked if they are convicted of DUI. 
  • They will also have to pay a heavy fine, court costs and legal fees.
  • Even after your child can legally drive again, they may be subjected to expensive high-risk auto insurance.
  • You may want to offer to pay your child the cost of calling an Uber, cab or other driving service if they are ever in a situation where they have consumed alcohol and need someone to drive them home.

Help keep your child safe from underage DUI and its consequences by initiating a conversation with them before it is too late.


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