Texas – Penalties For Minors Charged With Dwi

The “Save a Life” Web site maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation contains information regarding the penalties and charges that could be applied to an under-aged drinker suspected of drunk driving. That information should be sufficient to deter anyone under 21 years of age from drinking and driving. Unfortunately, education does not always work and 112 DWI drivers younger than 21 years old were involved in a fatal car crash in Texas in 2008. If you have been charged with a DWI, and you are under the age of 21, your freedom and your future may be in jeopardy. Do not take chances -- you need the Austin, Texas DWI defense attorneys at Minton, Burton, Bassett, & Collins, P.C.

The message from the state of Texas to minors regarding drinking alcohol is clear: “Under 21? Don’t even think about it.” As explained in the Texas Drivers Handbook since a minor cannot legally possess an alcoholic beverage, in 1997 the Texas Legislature adopted Senate Bill 35, establishing “zero tolerance” laws for minors who commit offenses under the non-driving alcohol-related laws as well as for minors who drive under the influence.

Getting charged with DWI or other alcohol-related offenses when under the age of 21 is serious and it could jeopardize your freedom, your family, your reputation, and your future. You need the Austin, TX DWI defense attorneys at Minton, Burton, Bassett, & Collins, P.C. Call us today at (512) 476-4873 or contact us via email. We can help you with your case in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Caldwell, Burnet and Comal counties.

Fines and Penalties for Minors

Under Zero Tolerance laws minors cannot buy, consume or be in possession of an alcoholic beverage. Attempting to buy alcohol is an offense under this policy. If you are charged with any crime under the Zero Tolerance bill “you'll face fines, lose your license, get community service and spend up to 40 hours in mandatory alcohol awareness classes. “

If a minor has any detectable amount of alcohol in his system while operating a motor vehicle in a public place the minor driver can be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor. Following are the ranges of penalties for DUI offenses for minors:

  • 1st Offense DUI by a Minor 17 years of age or older but less than 21. Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.00; not less than 20 nor more than 40 hours of community service; mandatory attendance in an Alcohol Awareness Course; driver’s license suspension for 120 days.
  • 2nd Offense DUI by a Minor 17 years of age or older but less than 21. Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.00; not less than 40 nor more than 60 hours of community service; attendance in an Alcohol Awareness Course may be required.
  • 3rd Offense DUI by a Minor 17 years of age or older but less than 21. Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine not less than $500.00 or more than $2,000.00; not less than 40 nor more than 60 hours of community service, and/or confinement in jail not to exceed 180 days.

Contact an Experienced DWI Attorney Today

If you or your child has been charged with DWI, you need experienced legal representation on your side to minimize the damage to your family and your reputation. The lawyers at Minton, Burton, Bassett, & Collins have handled alcohol offenses for Texans throughout the state. We understand how courts evaluate the evidence and factors surrounding charges involving a minor, and we leverage our knowledge to prepare an effective case strategy. We don't want you or your child's future to be ruined, and we will work hard on your family's behalf to ensure that justice is served.

If you or your child has been charged with an alcohol/minor offense, contact the Texas drunk driving attorneys at MBFC now by calling (512) 476-4873 or contact us via email. We will defend your rights and reputation. We can help you with your public intoxication case in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Caldwell, Burnet and Comal counties.

For complete information regarding DWI laws against minors in Texas see the Texas Drivers Handbook.

* Statistics from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics.

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