Anyone who has completed a driver’s education course may obtain a driver’s license at age 16. 625 ILCS 5/6-107(b) For those between the ages of 16 and 21 (“youthful drivers”) there is an array of special laws that can, if violated, cause a loss of a driver’s license. In addition, those between the ages of 16 and 17 fall under the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) requirements.
In Illinois, the age at which you are legal to consume, possess or purchase alcohol is 21 years, in accordance with the Liquor Control Act of 1934 (235 ILCS 5/6-16), even though for virtually all other purposes, you are considered an adult at the age of 18. A driver, as well as a passenger under the age of 21 can be charged with such a violation.
If you are an occupant of a motor vehicle, your driver’s license is in jeopardy if you are charged with a drinking ticket. In accordance with 625 ILCS 5/6-206(a)(43), if you receive court supervision for such a charge, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of 3 months.
During that suspension period, you may apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP) with the Illinois Secretary of State. If you are convicted of the charge, your driver’s license will be suspended for 6 months. 625 ILCS 5/6-206(a)(38); 92 Illinois Administrative Code (IAC) §1040.32 a)9) and you may apply for an RDP.
If you are found in possession of a driver’s license or ID card not issued to you, your driver’s license will be suspended for 12 months. 625 ILCS 5/6-206(a)(10); 92 IAC §1040.32 a)3 Note that this can occur even though you are not driving, even though you are not drinking at the time, even though you are not attempting to enter, have entered or are leaving a bar, even though you have never used the ID and even though you did not receive a ticket. Freed v. Ryan, 301 Ill.App.3d 952; 704 N.E.2d 746 (1st Dist. 1998)
Once the police confiscate the fake ID, they will send it to the Secretary of State. That will set the wheels in motion for a 12-month suspension. You can apply for an RDP.
Another situation and one that the law considers to be more serious, is a manufactured license or ID. Unlike the situation above, in which you are found in possession of a real license or ID that belongs to someone else, a manufactured ID is completely fictitious, typically purchase over the Internet.
This is a violation of 6-301, 6-301.1 or 6-301.2 or Section 14, 14A or 14B of the Illinois Identification Card Act. Until June 2011, this cause a 12-month revocation of your driver’s license, which could only be reinstated at a Secretary of State driver’s license hearing. Now it causes a 12-month suspension, with automatic reinstatement upon payment of a fee. 92 IAC §1040.32 a)5)A-C)
The Secretary of State will give credit off your suspension, and possibly drop it, if you cooperate in identifying the source of the license. That person, if caught, faces felony charges and a driver’s license revocation. 92 IAC §1040.32 a)5)D)
If you are in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and are stopped for a traffic violation, the officer may ask you to submit to a breath test if he has grounds to believe you have consumed any amount of alcohol. This is the Zero Tolerance law. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.8
If you register any BAC reading above zero, your driver’s license will be suspended for 3 months; if you refuse to submit to testing, it will be suspended for 6 months. For a second offense, the suspension is one year for taking the test and two years for refusing
You can only apply for an RDP after one year for a second offense. 625 ILCS 5/6-208.1(e)(f) Prior to applying for the RDP, you must review a Secretary of State study guide, pass a written test based upon the study guide, obtain an investigative drug and alcohol evaluation and have an informal hearing. 92 IAC §1001.600
It is a violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code to have any open alcohol container in the passenger compartment. 625 ILCS 5/11-502. For someone under 21, a first conviction results in a driver’s license suspension of 12 months. 625 ILCS 5/6-206(a)(36); 92 IAC §1040.43(a). A second conviction requires a revocation. 625 ILCS 5/6-205(a)(13)
Finally, if a driver is arrested for DUI while under the age of 21 and is later convicted of that offense, the driver will be revoked for 2 years and cannot drive at all during the first year. 625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(1) There are also a number of other rules and restrictions on youthful offenders that do not involve alcohol, including curfews, cell phones, moving violations and passenger restrictions.