Texas laws regarding underage drinking and driving are for more severe than they are for adults under the age of 21. If you are under the age of 21 and drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system, you can be charged with DUI. While adults over the age of 21 must be impaired by alcohol or have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater to face a drunk driving charge, those under 21 can face DUI charges after consuming only the smallest amount of alcohol, or any BAC greater than 0.00%.
For a first DUI offense, an underage driver can face a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $500, a 60-day license suspension, 20 to 40 hours of community service, and mandatory alcohol awareness classes. A second DUI conviction is also a Class C misdemeanor, but it can result in a $500 fine, 120-day license suspension, up to 60 hours of community service, and mandatory alcohol awareness classes.
Plus, if you are between the ages of 17 and 21 and your BAC measures 0.08% or greater, you could face a fine of up to $2,000, a jail sentence ranging from three to 180 days, and a driver’s license suspension ranging from 90 day to one year.
In addition to the penalties stemming from any DUI conviction, underage drivers may also face collateral penalties, such as cancellation of their motor vehicle insurance policies and increased premiums for high-risk motor vehicle insurance.
If you find yourself charged with DWI, DUI, or any other type of criminal offense, you need legal advice that only experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys can offer you. As the consequences of any criminal conviction may be severe, you should immediately contact a skilled defense lawyer for help if you have been accused of a criminal offense. Peek & Toland provides strong legal representation on a regular basis for individuals who are charged with various crimes. It is our priority is to represent your interests and protect your rights. Call us at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment to speak with us today.