If you are a minor or under the age of 21, it is illegal for you to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system. As a result, consuming any amount of beer, wine, or liquor could result in criminal charges of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor (DUIA by a Minor). The consequences of this offense vary according to your history of previous crimes and your age. For a first offense, you could face the following penalties for a Class C misdemeanor conviction:
- A fine of up to $500
- A 60-day driver license suspension
- Completion of 20 to 40 hours of community service
- Mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness class
The penalties can increase, even for a first-time offense, if you are over the age of 17 and are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. In this situation, you can face a fine of up to $2,000, three to 180 days in jail, and a license suspension ranging from 90 days to one year. In most cases, individuals generally do not face jail time for a first offense, but older minors often will be required to serve some jail time for a second or subsequent offense.
Not surprisingly, second and subsequent drinking and driving offenses for minors carry the potential for more significant penalties than those that might result from a first offense. For instance, the license suspension for a second offense for a minor is typically 120 days and increases to 180 days for third and subsequent offenses.
Minors also are subject to the state implied consent law, which subjects individuals to license suspensions when they refuse to take a chemical test for their BAC during a DWI arrest. Minors who refuse chemical testing can be subject to a 180-day license suspension for a first offense and a one-year suspension for a second offense. An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense against any criminal charges. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case and explore your options. We then can help you make the decisions that are mostly like to be beneficial to you, based on your situation. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 399-2311 today and see how we can help.