A driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol charge can lead to penalties, imprisonment and loss of driver’s license. But the consequences surrounding the case may change depending on the driver’s age.
In Texas, minors (drivers under 21 years) are subject to separate rules. Here is how underage drinking and driving is different in the state:
Any detectable amount of alcohol is illegal
An adult driver is legally drunk in Texas when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. But it’s illegal for a minor to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.
A minor who is stopped for drinking and driving for the first time may face up to a $500 fine, a 60-day driver’s license suspension, 20 to 40 hours of community service and mandatory alcohol awareness classes.
If a minor who is 17 or older is stopped for drinking and driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, they may pay up to a $2,000 fine, go to jail for three to 180 days and face a driver’s license suspension for 90 days to a year. The penalties will increase for additional offenses.
Even possessing alcohol can affect a minor’s driver license
If a minor is found in possession of alcohol, their driver’s license may be suspended for three to 180 days in addition to other penalties, including a $500 fine, 8 to 40 hours of community service and mandatory alcohol-awareness classes.
If you or your child is charged with underage drinking and driving or possession of alcohol, you should get legal help to understand your options.