Being taken into custody for underage drinking is one of the most frightening experiences an individual may have in Texas. After all, the state has zero tolerance for underage driving while intoxicated. A strong juvenile defense is likely necessary to overcome this type of criminal charge in the Lone Star State.
In Texas, people who are under 21 years old may face serious consequences for driving after drinking any amount of alcohol. The penalties may include a long license suspension period, community service and steep fines. Other potential penalties include time in jail for repeat offenders as well as the completion of a course on alcohol awareness.
Individuals 18 to 20 years old whose blood alcohol levels are .08 percent or more might face charges of drunk driving in the court system for adults. In this situation, a criminal conviction would end up on their permanent records. In addition, if they are in school, they may end up being suspended or expelled.
Fortunately, just because someone faces an underage drunk driving charge does not mean all is lost. An attorney will work to get the defendant’s charges reduced or even dismissed, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. The attorney may also help the defendant to apply for what is called an occupational license for driving — a restricted driver’s license that helps to mitigate the inconvenience of having a suspended license. The juvenile defense attorney’s ultimate goal in Texas is to protect the client’s rights and best interests during all stages of the criminal proceedings.