What You Need to Know if You Are Under 21 and Facing DWI Charges
Texas courts can be quite strict when enforcing laws against drunk driving. It is well-known that it is dangerous to operate a motor vehicle after consuming enough alcohol to become intoxicated. For most adults in Texas, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a B.A.C. of over 0.08%. This is generally considered to be the blood alcohol level at which an adult is deemed legally intoxicated. However, the law in Texas is much more strict with persons who are under the age of 21 who drive after drinking. It is already unlawful for a person less than 21 years of age to consume alcoholic beverages in general. Concerns over the effects of alcohol on minors have led to even stricter legislation regarding underage drinkers who drive. If you are a minor facing DWI charges, it would be wise to seek out a skilled criminal defense attorney.
What Does Texas Law Say About Underage DWI Charges?
The Texas statute pertaining to underage drinking and driving is incredibly strict. Here, a person under 21 years old can be charged with and convicted of driving while intoxicated if they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their body. Impairment does not need to be proven. Even a very small amount of alcohol insufficient to intoxicate you can trigger these charges. Less than one alcoholic beverage can be detected through chemical testing.
What Potential Penalties Could Drivers Under 21 Face for a DWI?
The penalties associated with an underage DWI can be serious. You could face:
- Fines - A first offense could lead to a fine up to $500.
- License suspension - Your license is likely to be suspended for sixty days.
- Community service - Many courts order community service after a DWI conviction. You may be forced to perform between twenty and forty hours of community service.
- Alcohol awareness classes - Minors are frequently ordered to attend classes to learn about the dangers of alcohol.
However, if your B.A.C. was over 0.08%, the penalties can be much steeper and may include jail time. The fine may be quadruple what it would have been with a lower B.A.C., and your license is likely to be suspended for up to a year.
Contact a Texas DWI Attorney
Law Offices of Sam H. Lock is experienced in representing minors who have been accused of DWI. As a skilled San Antonio DWI Lawyer, Attorney Lock may be able to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Contact us at 210-226-0965 for a free consultation.