The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC Legal Blog

Adults who serve alcohol to minors put themselves at great risk

Serving an under-aged person alcohol in Texas is a crime. To be criminal, it need not transpire where the minor then gets behind the wheel after drinking.

Thus, serving a minor who will be staying over and sleeping it off is not a defense, even though it is likely much safer from a driving perspective.

Five killed in car accident where under-aged driver intoxicated

As reported by the Greater Austin Underage Drinking Prevention Council, the Amarillo Globe News described that a theatrical cast party following a musical production preceded a tragic deadly highway accident. In that collision, which involved a tractor-trailer, five under-aged attendees of the cast party died.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission investigated to determine if an adult had furnished alcohol to the accident victims. The driver had a blood alcohol concentration of greater than 0.16 percent. His blood also contained traces of marijuana.

However, the cast party was a bring-your-own-booze social gathering. The investigation did not generate any evidence of adult provision of alcohol to the young adults. No one saw a charge of a violation of section 106.06 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.

Misdemeanor crime for serving a minor

Section 106.06 of the TABC dictates that a person who provides alcohol to a minor may have to defend charges of a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty can include up to $4,000 in fines and up to a year of incarceration. The adult may also lose his driving privileges for up to 180 days.

Note that the parents of the minor may provide alcohol to the child and this is not a violation of this law. The law also includes the prohibited behavior of making alcohol available to the minor. This criminal act may be different than overtly purchasing the alcohol for the minor or expressly inviting the minor to partake in the alcohol.

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