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What Happens if Someone Under 21 Gets Caught Drunk Driving in Texas?

 Posted on April 14, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Austin Criminal Defense LawyersWith the end of the school year fast approaching, many high school and college-age students are ready for the fun-filled days of summer. Unfortunately, spring and summer break is often the time that young people experiment with alcohol. In Texas, the consequences for underage drinking and driving vary depending on the driver's blood alcohol concentration. Underage drivers who are caught driving under the influence may face suspension of their driver's license, fines, community service, and jail time.

Zero Tolerance Laws in Texas

The Lonestar State has zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. Having any detectable amount of alcohol in your system while operating a vehicle is illegal if you are under the legal drinking age. Under Texas' zero tolerance law, drivers under 21 years old with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.02 can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and charged with a Class C misdemeanor. The penalty for first-time offenders DUI offenders includes:

  • A fine of up to $500

  • 40 hours of community service

  • Mandatory alcohol education classes

Underage Drivers Can Face Adult Penalties for DWI

Having any detectable amount of alcohol in your body can lead to DUI charges if you are under 21 years old. However, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over 0.08 percent or the arresting officer believes your physical and mental faculties are impaired, you can be charged with DWI. Individuals aged under 21 face the same DWI penalties as any other DWI offender.

For a first-time offense, DWI penalties include:

  • A minimum of three days to a maximum of six months in jail

  • A fine of up to $2,000

  • Up to two years of community supervision

  • Driver's license suspension of up to two years

  • Alcohol education classes or alcohol intervention

Contact our Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you or your child has been charged with an underage DUI or DWI in Texas, it is important to seek help from an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC., our experienced Austin DWI defense attorneys can help you fight your charges and avoid the serious consequences that come with an underage DUI. Call 512-474-2222 for a free consultation.



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