This weekend, 18-year-old Luis Romo was charged with 2 counts of felony DUI after a car accident that injured 3 people.
Romo allegedly ran a stop sign and struck another vehicle that was carrying three men. Police estimate that Romo’s blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was 0.17 – over twice the legal limit of 0.08.
The injured men were all taken to the hospital, but none sustained life threatening wounds.
This case brings up an interesting legal topic – underage DUI. How do the charges differ if a drunk driver is under the legal drinking age?
According to Illinois DUI attorney, Brett Appelman, “This young man is in serious trouble. Besides a charge of DUI, he is likely facing multiple charges of Aggravated DUI, due to his elevated BAC level and the fact that injuries resulted from the crash. He is also facing a long term suspension and possibly a revocation of his driver’s license. If you are under 21 and get a DUI you can be barred from driving under the state of Illinois’ ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy.
“It is likely that he will not face any jail time for these charges, if this is his first DUI. While the accident and injuries appear quite serious, DUIs tend to be considered as reckless behavior (that is, not having been planned or with done with malice). So the sentences, at least for first time offenders, can be lighter than most people expect them to be.”