Illinois Supreme Court says no prison for underage drinking by Micheal Helfand
To read this article on the Chicago’s Real Law Blog website, click here.
When I first heard this, I thought it sounded obvious. Who would send a kid to prison for underage drinking? I was surprised something like this could happen in Illinois. It’s not the norm, but it happened to a girl who was found guilty of underage drinking in Champaign County. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled on the case to clarify the law in this area.
In Illinois, juveniles can be incarcerated, but only under certain circumstances. The Juvenile Court Act says that a minor can be committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice “only if a term of incarceration is permitted by law for adults found guilty of the offense.” So, a juvenile can’t be incarcerated if an adult can’t be incarcerated for the same thing. And obviously, an adult (defined as 21 or older) can’t be found guilty of underage drinking.