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Alcohol-Related Charges Common in Illinois

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2019 | DUI & Traffic Defense |

People all across Chicago and Illinois will be celebrating the 4th of July weekend with friends and family at barbecues, fireworks displays, and parties. Many of these celebrations will have alcohol present for guests to enjoy. Let’s review a few of the most common alcohol-related charges that defendants face in Illinois.

Public Urination

Chicago has an ordinance against urinating in public. A defendant who violates this ordinance can be fined or even face jail time.

The ordinance states that: “No person shall urinate or defecate on the public way, or on any outdoor public property, or on any outdoor private property. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b), any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00, or shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five days nor more than ten days or by both such fine and imprisonment.”

This means even if you are on private property but are outside, you can be given a ticket for public urination.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

When a person is charged with a DUI in Chicago he or she faces both civil and criminal penalties:

  • First, an officer will seize and impound a vehicle if they suspect the person was driving while intoxicated

  • Second, an officer who has reasonable grounds that a person is driving under the influence of alcohol may request a person to submit to a breath test

  • Third, an officer who has probable cause that a person is driving under the influence of alcohol may arrest a person for violation 625 ILCS 5/11-501entitled Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

The seizure and impoundment of the vehicle may be challenged by the defendant. Additionally, anyone may refuse to submit to a breath test that an officer requests. This will result in a one (1) year Statutory Summary Suspension, which may also be challenged.

Open Alcohol Container

Driving with an open container of alcohol is a petty offense in the state of Illinois. This carries a fine of up to $1,000. However, multiple instances of the same offense can increase the severity of the penalty.

If the driver of the car is under 21, they may have their license revoked due to the state’s zero tolerance policy.

Underage Drinking of Alcohol

The “possession, consumption, purchase, or receipt” of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21 is illegal and is punishable with a “3-month suspension of driving privileges for court supervision, 6 mos. for first conviction, 1 year for second conviction, and license revocation for subsequent convictions.”

It is also illegal to provide alcohol to persons under the age of 21. Individuals charged with this misdemeanor offense face a fine up to $2,500. If serious injury or death occurs because alcohol was provided to minors, the offense is considered a Class 4 felony carrying up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.

Contact a Defense Attorney

If you face any of these charges after the holiday weekend, it is essential to contact a defense attorney who can review the details of your case and create a plan to defend you in court.

Contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates, LLC for a free consultation.