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Court Approves Zero Tolerance

Recently, the Illinois Supreme Court turned aside a challenge to the Illinois "zero tolerance law," which provides that a driver under the age of 21 who has alcohol in his system will have his driver's license suspended for a minimum of three months.

The constitutionality of the zero tolerance law was challenged because it treats those over 21 and those under 21 differently. If a person over 21 tests positive for alcohol, his driver's license is suspended but he has the right to challenge this suspension in court. In contrast, drivers under 21 who test positive for alcohol also have their licenses suspended, but are required to challenge this suspension in an administrative proceeding.

In finding that this differential treatment was permissible, the court ruled that the license suspension provisions have different purposes. For those over 21, the purpose is to protect drivers from others who are legally able to drink, but who drive while drunk. For those under 21, the purpose of the zero tolerance law is to give an incentive to obey the law prohibiting them from drinking even small amounts of alcohol. Because this incentive is not found in the DUI law (which applies only if you have had enough to drink to be impaired), the different treatment is justified.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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