The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC Legal Blog

How are underage DUI cases different from regular ones?

In Texas, the legal drinking age is 21. Minors definitely do not want to be caught in possession of alcohol, and they definitely do not want to be caught operating a vehicle under the influence.

2015 saw 384 teenagers under the age of 18 get arrested for driving while intoxicated. All parents hope their kids never end up as part of that statistic, and it is crucial for parents to inform their children of the dangers possible if they drive drunk. While many parts of Texas DUI law are similar regardless if a person is under or over the age of 21, there are some key differences.

Zero tolerance

Texas law considers a person to be driving under the influence if he or she has a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08. Kids less than 21 years old cannot drive with a BAC higher than 0.00. This is a zero-tolerance policy. This means if a teenager gets caught with a BAC of even 0.01, then he or she could be facing stiff penalties, including:

  • $500 fine
  • Community service
  • Suspended license
  • Alcohol-awareness classes

Additional charges

A DUI may not be the only charge a teenager faces if caught drunk driving. The police may check his or her driver’s license, and if it is a fake, then a possession of false identification charge can also land on the teen. In the event there are other minors in the vehicle who are inebriated, then the teen driving face charges of providing alcohol to minors.

Perhaps the most harmful part of an underage DUI charge is the fact that the teenager will have to report it on college applications. An entire future can be in jeopardy because of one mistake. Parents should protect their children’s future, and inform them of the dangers of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated.

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