OVERVIEW OF COUNTRY THUNDER FESTIVAL AND COMMON CITATIONS AND OFFENSES
Once a year the Country Thunder music festival takes place in Kenosha County Wisconsin, specifically in the Village of Twin Lakes. This years festival is scheduled to take place July 19-23, 2018. If past history is any indication of the future this festival will likely result in a massive number of citations and arrests in Wisconsin for Illinois and other out of state residents and Wisconsin residents alike (see 2016 citation statistics: https://journaltimes.com/news/local/underage-drinking-tops-kenosha-sheriff-s-country-thunder-report/article_e0f3eb2b-effa-5c67-9de2-f4f5022c8d37.html)
The most common citations are for underage consumption or possession of alcohol and usually occur within the festival camping and campground areas. The Kenosha County Sheriffs and other law enforcement agents are dispatched to these campgrounds often on ATV or other smaller vehicles or may also be on foot patrol. In the past I have represented young people charged with citations and violations for obstructing justice, underage consumption of alcohol, underage possession of alcohol, possession of cannabis, drug paraphernalia, battery, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and other violations related to Country Thunder and the surrounding festival camping areas.
POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES FOR UNDERAGE CONSUMPTION OR POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL CITATIONS FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS
The immediate potential consequence to an Illinois resident for an underage possession or consumption of alcohol violation is a six month suspension of Illinois driving privileges. The Illinois Secretary of State provides in relevant part:
Driver’s License Suspension for Alcohol Consumption — A person under the age of 21 who is found guilty or granted court supervision for a violation of state law or local ordinance relating to illegal consumption, possession, purchase or receipt of alcohol, regardless of whether a vehicle was involved will face a loss of driving privileges, in addition to any fine imposed. Court supervision for any of these offenses will result in a 3 month suspension of driving privileges; a first conviction results in a 6 month suspension of driving privileges; a second conviction results in a 12 month suspension of driving privileges and a third or subsequent conviction will result in a revocation of driving privileges.
It should be noted that the State of Wisconsin does not recognize the Illinois concept of Court Supervision so if an Illinois resident pays or ignores a citation for underage possession or consumption of alcohol they will suffer a conviction that could result in a suspension of driving privileges as outlined above. An underage consumption of possession of alcohol conviction will be visible to a parent’s insurance company and may result in increased family premiums, An additional significant repercussion of a conviction for underage possession or consumption of alcohol is the record of that offense as a forfeiture, criminal charge or ordinance violation. Often these tickets are not criminal in nature, but may still affect college applications or future job prospects for a young person.