Driving Under the Influence

Drunk Driving

A new law allows a painful punishment for underage drinkers, loss of the driver’s license.

Gov. George Ryan signed the law which requires local officials to notify the Secretary of State when someone under 21 is caught drinking illegally or using a fake identification.

The state can then suspend the offender's driving privileges for a year.

Ryan says he hopes the law reduces the number of car accidents involving underage drinkers.

wifr.com Extended Web Coverage

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

  • Legal drinking age in the United States is 21.

  • Forty-six states have "Zero Tolerance Laws" for underage drinking and driving meaning that drivers under 21 years of age are considered to be legally intoxicated with a much lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that drivers who are 21 or older.

  • BAC varies from 0.00 to 0.02 depending on the state.

  • Illinois has a BAC of 0.00 for drivers under 21, this can come from as little as one drink.

  • For drivers 21 and over, the BAC is 0.08.

  • If charged with a DUI, the offender can have their license suspended for 90 days to 1 year, and pay fines of up to $1,000.

  • Fines and jail time can increase significantly if you injure someone or cause major damage.

  • Second and subsequent offenses may be dramatically more severe.

  • Affect on Insurance: If your license is suspended, your insurance company (preferred carrier) will drop you and your entire family.

  • If you get your license back, you are going to pay 40-60 percent higher rates.

  • In Illinois, a DUI stays on your record for 5-7 years.

Source: www.whatsdrivingyou.org contributed to this report