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Archive for the ‘underage drinking’ tag

Illinois Cracks Down on Underage Drinking

June 11th, 2018 at 7:05 am

DUI charge, fake state IDs, juvenile crimes, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, underage drinkingThe legal drinking age in Illinois is 21. That being said, this does not stop individuals under the age of 21 from consuming alcoholic drinks at an alarming rate. Underage drinking is dangerous and can have serious consequences. And, to be sure, there are various crimes a juvenile can be charged with in relation to alcohol — underage drinking, drinking and driving, and the use of a fake ID are just a few of the crimes. Each of these crimes can result in punishment that can greatly affect a young person’s life in the years to come.

Crimes Related to Underage Drinking in Illinois

If you or a loved one has been charged with any of the following crimes in Illinois, it is imperative that you reach out to our legal team immediately:

  • Underage Drinking: It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. Illinois law states that the “possession, consumption, purchase, or receipt of alcohol by an individual under the age of 21” results in suspension of driving privileges. The first conviction results in a three-month suspension of driving privileges and court supervision for six months. A second conviction can result in suspension for one year and any other subsequent convictions can result in revocation of a driver’s license.
  • Drinking and Driving: Illinois has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. For individuals over the age of 21, driving under the influence occurs with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. For those under the age of 21, any blood alcohol content above a 0.0 can result in a DUI charge. A driver under the age of 21 with any amount of alcohol in their system will lose their driving privileges for three months for the first offense.
  • Fake ID: Underage individuals may choose to use fake state IDs or the IDs of others who are over the age of 21. In Illinois, it is a Class A Misdemeanor to display or represent as “one’s own any driver’s license or ID card issued to another person.” Additionally, an individual can be charged for using an ID that is fictitious. Further, the use of a fake ID can also amount to a Class 4 Felony. Possessing a fraudulent Illinois ID card or driver’s license is just one other way to elevate the crime to a felony.   

Not only can an underage person face charges relating to underage alcohol consumption or fake identification, but those who supply alcohol to a minor, or provide a fake ID, can also be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

Let Our Attorneys Help You Today

Attorney Christopher M. Cosley is available to help you with any underage drinking issues that may arise. He understands that kids make mistakes and those mistakes should not affect them for the rest of their adult life. Dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley works hard to give the best possible defense under the circumstances. Do not let one bad choice as a juvenile follow you for the rest of your life. Contact us for a consultation today.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/ilcc/education/pages/under21laws.aspx

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/losepriv.html

What You Need to Know About Underage DUIs in Illinois

December 12th, 2017 at 8:10 am

Rolling Meadows DUI attorney, underage drinking, underage DUI, zero tolerance policy, driving privilegesWe all know that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Illinois with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more. Yet did you know that drivers who are under 21 years of age can get in trouble for driving under the influence if they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system? This is because Illinois has what is known as a zero tolerance driving under the influence policy.

Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Policy

As noted on the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State’s website, a driver who is less than 21 years old and is caught with even a trace amount of alcohol in his or her system can get into a lot of trouble under Illinois’ zero tolerance law. Exactly how much trouble a young driver can get in depends on how much alcohol they are found to have consumed before getting behind the wheel. For example, a person who is under 21 can be charged with a DUI (aka driving under the influence) if he or she is caught with:

  • A BAC of 0.08 percent or more,
  • A BAC of 0.05 percent or more plus additional evidence proving impairment,
  • Any illegal drugs in their system, or
  • Other indications of having been driving while under the influence.

Furthermore, Illinois’ zero tolerance law provides that a driver who is under 21 will lose his or her driving privileges if he or she is caught driving after having consumed any alcohol at all. Underage individuals who get caught driving with alcohol in their system in Illinois lose their driving privileges as follows:

  • If convicted of a first DUI – driving privileges revoked for at least two years.
  • If convicted of a second DUI within five years – driving privileges revoked for at least five years.
  • If stopped and issued a ticket for a traffic violation (first offense) – driving privileges suspended for three months.
  • If stopped and issued a ticket for a traffic violation (second offense) – driving privileges suspended for one year.

The Consequences of Underage DUIs in Illinois

In addition to losing their driving privileges for a specified period of time, underage individuals convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois can be sentenced to serve time in jail (generally imprisonment for up to one year) and/or be ordered to pay a fine (typically up to $2,500). Furthermore, those convicted of driving under the influence often find that the consequences of a DUI conviction extend far beyond the penalties imposed by the court. For example, many people find that after being convicted their insurance provider decides to terminate their auto insurance policy.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney

Anyone who has recently been charged with driving under the influence in Illinois should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney Christopher M. Cosley without delay. It is important to realize that driving under the influence, whether you are over or under 21, is a serious criminal offense in Illinois that can carry steep fines and serious jail time. Therefore, if you have been accused of driving under the influence it is critical that you consult with a local criminal defense lawyer about your legal options right away.

Source:

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/DUI/uselose.html

Minors Caught With Alcohol in Illinois

August 21st, 2017 at 7:15 am

legal drinking age, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers, unlawful consumption of alcohol, minors caught with alcohol, underage drinkingThe legal drinking age in Illinois, and throughout the United States, is 21. However, it is also illegal for those under 21 to even just possess alcohol in Illinois. Unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor are related, yet distinct, crimes in Illinois.

Unlawful Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Under Illinois’ Liquor Control Act (235 ILCS 5/1 et seq.) it is illegal for an individual who is under 21 years of age to possess alcohol. But what does it mean, in a legal sense, to “possess” something?

In this case, alcohol can be possessed either physically or constructively. Physical possession essentially means holding a container with alcohol in it. Constructive possession, on the other hand, means that you have both the intent as well as the ability to control the alcohol.

Therefore, if you have a six-pack of beer in the trunk of your car, a court would likely find that you have constructive possession of the alcohol.

Unlawful Possession Penalties

Unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, up to 364 days in jail, and/or a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.

Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

In Illinois it is also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. Please keep in mind that it is therefore technically illegal for an underage person to have even a sip of alcohol.

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that this law prohibits those who are underage from being drunk or from having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. However, this is not the case. Remember, in Illinois, it is illegal for an underage individual to consume any amount of alcohol.

Unlawful Consumption Penalties

Unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois that is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, up to 364 days in jail, and/or a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.

Exceptions

It should be noted that there are two limited exceptions to the underage alcohol laws outlined above. Under code section 235 ILCS 5/6-20(g), people under 21 years of age can legally possess and/or consume alcohol in Illinois either (1) during the performance of a religious service or ceremony, or (2) while in a private home under the direct supervision of their parent (or a person standing in loco parentis).

Let Us Assist You Today

If your child has been charged with unlawful possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor in Illinois, the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are here to help. Our firm defends both minors and juveniles against a wide variety of alcohol related offenses and would be happy to assist you.

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1404&ChapterID=26

The Ramifications of Illinois Minor in Possession Charges

July 12th, 2017 at 7:00 am

Class A misdemeanor, juvenile crimes, minor in possession, Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes attorney, underage drinkingFor good or ill, underage drinking is a rite of passage for many young people, though it often leads to legal trouble for those involved.  While such issues are commonly seen as youthful peccadilloes, in reality an underage drinking issue can affect a young adult’s future in a significant manner.

If a parent or authority figure becomes aware of minor in possession charges entered against a son, daughter or ward, it is incumbent upon both them and the young adult to become aware of the potential consequences if convicted of such a charge.

Restrictions & Exceptions

Illinois has very strict regulations regarding minors caught with alcohol. Generally, if one is under the age of 21, it is illegal to either possess or consume alcohol. If they are observed doing so in public or in ‘a place open to the public,’ they may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

A Class A misdemeanor is the most serious class of non-felony offense, and under Illinois law it is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail (not prison—the distinction is fine but important to observe).  

The law does state that a minor may legally consume alcohol at home—thus, not in a public place —without repercussions if they have the approval and direct supervision of a parent (or anyone standing in those proverbial shoes).  Other exceptions do also exist under the relevant statute; however, they are few in number and quite rare to encounter or experience.

One, for example, is that minors may possess or consume alcohol as part of religious ceremonies. While this is a clear-cut exception, it is one that applies to a significant minority of young people caught indulging in alcohol. Most of the time, the absolutist logic of the statute itself will apply—if a minor is caught consuming or possessing alcohol in public, then he or she will almost always be charged with that Class A misdemeanor.

Alternatives to Jail Time

While the majority of defendants in minor possession cases will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, it does not mean that the majority will be convicted of such an offense. Judges also have considerable leeway to impose alternative sentences or add extra requirements that a convicted minor must fulfill. It is, however, required that the defendant be informed of the possible maximum sentence so as to ensure that any guilty plea is voluntary—if the defendant was not specifically informed and still pled guilty, receiving a sentence of jail time, it would open up the possibility of appeal based on lack of understanding of the potential consequences.

In terms of alternative sentences or additional penalties imposed, the most common choices are community service (as opposed to jail time) and court supervision or probation. Supervision in particular tends to be favored for first-time offenders, as successful completion of the supervision period without any further legal trouble leads to a dismissal of the charges and no permanent indication on the defendant’s criminal record.

Consult a Knowledgeable Juvenile Crimes Attorney

Very often, episodes of underage drinking are met with nostalgia or minimizing by friends and family. However, the law does not share such an indulgent view. The passionate Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley will fight for you and do our best to achieve a fair outcome. Contact our offices today to set up an initial appointment.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-3.1

Powdered Alcohol Now Illegal in Illinois

January 20th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois criminal statutes, The newest rendition of alcohol is a freeze dried form of powdered or crystallized alcohol. The powdered alcohol is considerably lighter than traditional liquid alcohol and can easily be transported. The powdered alcohol is mixed with water or other liquids to form an alcoholic beverage.

Powdered alcohol was approved for use in the United States by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in 2015. However powdered alcohol is not readily available in the United States. Obtaining the approval of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau was the last regulatory step required before powdered alcohol can be manufactured and sold in the United States. The earliest that powdered alcohol will be available for purchase in the United States is by the upcoming summer. But there are a number of states that have proactively banned powdered alcohol sales and use before the substance is even available on the market.

Illinois Bans Powdered Alcohol

Senate Bill 0067 added 235 ILCS 5/34.5 to the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Effective as of January 1, 2016, the new law prohibits the buying and selling of powdered alcohol products in Illinois. The new law makes a first offense classified as a Class A misdemeanor, while a second or subsequent offense is classified as a Class 4 felony. The new law focuses on the buying and selling, or reselling of powdered alcohol – the law does not address purchasing powdered alcohol legally out of state and then transporting it into Illinois for personal consumption.

While it may not be possible to purchase powdered alcohol in Illinois, a number of nearby states do not have laws banning the sale or use of powdered alcohol. For instance, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri lack any sort of ban on powdered alcohol, and it would not be difficult for those Illinois residents who want to try the product to travel across state lines, purchase the powdered alcohol legally, and then bring it back to Illinois for personal consumption.

Concerns about Under-Aged Consumption of Powdered Alcohol

Concern surrounding under-aged drinking abounds in Illinois, and there is no doubt that there is concern about the impact that a powdered form of alcohol will have on under-aged drinking once it becomes available for purchase. There is a high likelihood that the new form of alcohol will become a drinking fad among young people, and as previously mentioned, there is little to stop young people from purchasing the powdered alcohol (legally or illegally) in other states for use in Illinois.

Additionally, there are concerns about how potent the new substance will be. Like liquid alcohol, a powdered version can get a person drunk, but questions arise as to how quickly a powdered version could impact a person’s judgement. To be sure, it takes longer for the body to process the powdered form than liquid alcohol.

Imagine a scenario where a powder alcohol drink is mixed up and drank immediately, before the powder has time to fully dissolve into the mixer. A person could theoretically get behind the wheel while not feeling drunk, only to become gradually more affected by the alcohol as the powder fully dissolves. A DUI could easily result from this scenario.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

It may be a while before powdered alcohol is available to the public, but once it is there is no doubt that some individuals who consume it will end up having a brush with the law. If you are facing alcohol-related criminal charges, please contact an experienced Rolling Meadows aggravated DUI lawyer immediately. Our skilled attorneys are prepared to assist you today

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=023500050K6-34.5

Teen Drinking Targeted by Officials

July 2nd, 2014 at 7:00 am

Christopher M. Cosley, high school graduation, juvenile law attorney, Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer, teen drinking, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, underage drinking, Chicago juvenile crime lawyerThe end of a school year brings graduation and all of the celebrations that go along with the occasion. Many high school students are undoubtedly eager to enjoy the milestone and excitedly look forward to the next part of their lives. However, it is an unfortunate fact that many event celebrations for  teens involve underage drinking, or at least the opportunity to do so. A recent article discusses law enforcement officials’ response in Pontiac, Illinois.

Underage Drinking

Police officers are aware of a correlation between the incidence of underage drinking and warmer weather in the summertime. Their concern, however, is that teens do not appreciate the fact that choosing to participate in underage drinking and risking an arrest can have long lasting and damaging effects on their lives in the future.

School officials also side with law enforcement, saying that students partaking in celebrations is to be expected. But, it is also important that such celebrating be done in a responsible way. School representatives encourage students to enjoy their graduation with friends and family in a smart and safe way. The local school in Pontiac offered a safe and legal alternative celebration that they hosted, called Operation Graduation. It was an all-night event allowing teens to celebrate in a drug and alcohol-free environment.

Consequences

Potential consequences of an underage drinking arrest include suspension of the individual’s driver’s license for at least six months due to the state of Illinois’ zero tolerance policy. Other consequences include a probationary sentence, community service, the imposition of a curfew, and potential ramification from school administration, like restrictions on extracurricular activities.

If convicted of a higher graded Class A misdemeanor, an individual faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Both the age of the individual and whether they have any prior criminal history are factors that are considered in order to determine whether the person will be sentenced to a period of incarceration, a period of probation, and/or any fines imposed.

Other criminal offenses involved with teen drinking could include an arrest for driving under the influence. Minors are subject to the same testing as adults, including breath, blood, and urine screenings. In addition to losing their license, teens could be sentenced to probation time or fines.

Of course, some may argue that the legal consequences of underage drinking pale in comparison to the personal tragedy that can occur. Poor judgment and decision making that results from underage drinking could have potential life-long consequences if such behavior results in a crash, death, or other significant injury.

Juvenile Law Attorney

If you or someone you know has been charged with underage teen drinking or any other criminal offense as a juvenile, the experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can assist in your defense. Contact us today for a consultation. We serve clients in DuPage and Cook Counties and surrounding areas.

Law Enforcement Prepared for St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

March 20th, 2014 at 12:16 pm

underage drinking, holiday, St. Patrick's Day, Illinois, DUI, MIPSt. Patrick’s Day means ham and cabbage for some and imbibing substantial amounts of alcohol for others. Particularly for the college-age students, it seems that law enforcement in Illinois is aware of, and cracking down on, those who choose to participate in the latter.

 Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day

According to a recent article, law enforcement agencies met with representatives from the University of Illinois to discuss ways to mitigate the risks that are commonly associated with the celebration of unofficial St. Patrick’s Day. Even though both groups have tried to discourage people from participating in the event, they realize that some partake nonetheless.  According to police, the event promotes both underage and binge drinking and results in injuries and even fatalities in years past.

 Breaking the Law

Both law enforcement and University offices and agencies planned ahead of time to work together during the event to enforce laws relating to underage drinking, private parties, and drunk driving, among other hazards. They discussed holding tenants responsible for the conduct of any party attendees, including limiting the number of people on balconies and refraining from throwing objects from them, as required by local ordinances. Hosts of parties who violated any laws, including allowing alcohol consumption by those under 21, will face criminal charges and not solely a city ordinance violation.

However, if a life-threatening situation exists, such as in the case of alcohol poisoning, individuals were urged to call for help and to not avoid doing so for fear of criminal prosecution. These extraneous circumstances likely caused law enforcement to use discretion and choose not to assert the full extent of criminal penalties. As long as there is cooperation, citations from either law enforcement or the University will not be issued to those who call 9-1-1 for help in a dangerous situation.

 Preparing for Unofficial

In light of the holiday, many organizations participated in Walk as One, a program that is meant to spread alcohol safety information to students. Participants knocked on the doors of students to distribute the information directly. In addition to the walk, law enforcement also gave safety presentations to a number of student groups during the last several weeks, and plan on using social media to spread safety information as well.

However, it seems as though some of this preparation may be in vain. Law enforcement recognized that much of the problem lies with people who come to celebrate the holiday from outside communities and have no ties to the University. In fact, over half of the arrests made last year were of students who were not attending the University of Illinois. In that case, the University said it is prepared to contact other schools regarding student’s actions during the event.

Despite the effort of law enforcement and the University to create a safe environment, it is up to the participants of the event to be responsible. If participants choose not to be safe, it is clear that they should be prepared to face action by law enforcement resulting in criminal charges, and action by the school ranging from sanctions to dismissal.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI or alcohol related crime in the state of Illinois, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you of your rights. Contact us today for a consultation.

Underage Drinking and Punishments in Illinois

November 14th, 2013 at 10:39 am

illinois-underage-drinkingDrinking alcohol is dangerous for people of all ages even if they are old enough to drink legally. The law is not meant just to get people in trouble, it is to protect them, which is why the punishments can be so severe.

Not only is consuming alcohol illegal, but those under 21 cannot even transport or have alcohol in their possession. If someone underage is caught transporting alcohol in their vehicle, they can be fined up to $500 and receive a jail sentence of up to six months. The exception to this law is if a person under the age of 21 is transporting alcohol for employment or under the order of his or her parents.

If someone underage is caught drinking and driving, their punishment will be even more severe than someone who is of age because they will have broken multiple laws. If someone underage registers a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher while driving, he or she may be sentenced to 30 days in jail and be fined up to $500.

Under the Zero Tolerance Law, any person under the age of 21 can be punished for drinking and driving even if he or she does not register a 0.08 BAC. Depending on how many offenses the person may have and whether or not he or she refuses the test, the offense if punishable by 3 months up to 2 years in prison. The prison time, of course, increases if the BAC is above 0.08.

Some underage drinkers even go as far as getting a fake ID so that they can buy alcohol themselves and get into bars. With each step away from the truth, these teens are digging deeper and deeper holes for themselves with the law. Having a fake ID can result in 25 hours of community service, most likely for an alcohol abuse prevention program or a fine of at least $250. If a person who is 21 or older allows someone else to borrow their ID can have the same results.

Underage drinking dangerous for the drinker and it is also dangerous for those around him or her. Anyone with knowledge of underage drinking can get into legal trouble as well. If you have been caught drinking underage or allowing someone to, contact a criminal attorney for help. Located in Rolling Meadows, attorney Chris Cosley will help you through your underage drinking court case today.

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