Unlawful Consumption or Possession Of Alcohol by a Minor

Unlawful Consumption or Possession of Alcohol by a Minor in Illinois

Charges of unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor, unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor, and unlawful delivery of alcohol to a minor, more commonly known as “drinking tickets” or “alcohol tickets”, are regulated by the Illinois Liquor Control Act, located at 235 ILCS 5/1 et seq. The range of penalties for possessing alcohol, consuming alcohol, or delivering alcohol to a minor ranges from a fine only ordinance violation to a Class 4 Felony if certain circumstances apply, punishable by 1-3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. In addition, a driver’s license suspension will often be imposed upon any plea of guilty.

The range of penalties depends on which agency is prosecuting you. For example, if you were to be arrested in the city of Naperville with alcohol, you could be issued a Naperville City Ordinance violation, or you could be charged by the DuPage or Will County State’s Attorney’s Office with a criminal Class A misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $2,500 and/or up to 364 days in the County jail.

My license can be suspended from this?

Yes. Under Illinois’ “Zero Tolerance” policy, any person who receives court supervision for an unlawful possession/consumption ticket will have their license suspended for 3 months. Any person convicted of an unlawful possession/consumption ticket will have their license suspended for 12 months. The same policy applies for any drinking tickets issued as city ordinance violations. This suspension will occur under the State of Illinois’ “Zero Tolerance” policy, and it does not matter whether your ticket is a city ordinance violation, or a County charge.

Source: Illinois Secretary of State

Another way Illinois phrases “Zero Tolerance” is “You use, you lose.”

In 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court held that suspending a person’s driver’s license for drinking was constitutional, even if they were not driving at the time they were drinking. People v. Boeckmann, 932 N.E.2d 998 (Ill. 2010).

What is possession?

There are two types of possession. The first type of possession is called “actual possession”. That means you are actually holding or exercising direct physical control over the alcohol. The second type of possession is called “constructive possession”. That means you have the intent and capability to maintain control over the alcohol. What this translates to in English: You can be charged with possession of alcohol if it is in the back of your trunk, or on your table even though you are not directly holding it.

Punishment Table

Unlawful Possession of Alcohol

  • Class A Misdemeanor
  • Maximum Fine: $2,500.
  • Maximum Jail Time: 364 days in the County Jail.
  • 3 month license suspension for Court Supervision, 12 month license suspension for convictions.

Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol

  • Class A Misdemeanor.
  • Maximum Fine: $2,500.
  • Maximum Jail Time: 364 days in the County Jail.
  • 3 month license suspension for Court Supervision, 12 month license suspension for convictions.

Unlawful Delivery of Alcohol to a Minor

  • Class A Misdemeanor.
  • Mandatory Minimum Fine: $500.
  • Maximum Fine: $2,500.
  • Maximum Jail Time: 364 days in the County Jail.
  • If the delivery of Alcohol results in death, this is a Class 4 Felony, punishable by a fine of $2,500 and 1-3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Alcohol Related Offenses (Ordinance Violation)

  • Ordinance Violation (Non-criminal offense).
  • Maximum Fine set by City Ordinance (For example, Naperville may have a different fine than Joliet, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Aurora, or St. Charles).
  • Each City may have a different city Ordinance Code. For example, the City of Naperville’s Municipal Code prohibition against the possession or consumption of alcohol by minors is located at Title 3, Chapter 3, Section 3-22-2 (1.1 and 4).  The city of Downer’s Grove may have a completely different ordinance code.
  • 3 month license suspension for Court Supervision, 12 month license suspension for convictions.

DISCLAIMER

The information on this page is for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. It does not equal or replace legal consultation with a qualified Illinois criminal defense attorney. The information on this page should not be relied upon as legal advice from the Law Office of Ken Wang LLC. in Naperville, DuPage County, Illinois.