If you’re under the age of 21, you need to think twice about drinking and getting behind the wheel. As a minor, you can be charged with both DUI and DWI.
DUI refers to driving under the influence, which is applicable to those who are underage. Because it’s illegal for minors to drink, any detectable trace of alcohol can lead to a conviction.
DWI refers to driving while intoxicated. This means driving with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher. While you may feel like drinking with your friends is worth the risk, it’s important to know the possible consequences of underage drinking and driving in Texas.
Keep reading for everything you need to know.
One of the best things about growing up is being able to get your driver’s license. Your driver’s license provides you with freedom and independence. However, having a driver’s license is a privilege, one that can be taken away for underage drinking and driving.
If you’re pulled over and charged, you could lose your license for up to one year on the first offense. The second and third offenses could mean forfeiting your license for 18 months and two years, respectively.
Community Service and Alcohol Awareness Courses
Underage drinking and driving in Texas can also result in time-consuming punishments. These include community service and alcohol awareness courses.
In some cases, the judge may also decide that you need an ignition lock on your vehicle. In this case, you would have to blow into an installed breathalyzer every time before starting your vehicle.
Fines and Fees
One of the major issues with underage drinking and driving is how expensive these charges can be. For example, on your first offense, you could be liable for fines up to $2,000.
On your second offense, the fines double to $4,000. If you’re facing your third underage DWI offense, the judge can fine you up to $10,000.
One of the most unsettling underage drinking and driving facts is that the accused can be arrested and penalized with jail time. As a minor, this can be an incredibly intimidating punishment. However, in Texas, underage drinking and driving carries a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours, but up to 180 days.
On the second offense, you will be sentenced to a minimum of 30 days and up to one year in jail. A third offense warrants a two to a 10-year jail sentence.
Damage to Property, Injuries, and Loss of Life
Finally, you need to think about the other potential consequences of underage drinking and driving. If you were to wreck your vehicle, it could have disastrous, and possibly life-altering results.
For example, you could destroy not only your vehicle but also someone else’s. You could even drive into someone else’s property.
Additionally, you could end up injuring another human being. In the worst-case scenario, underage drinking and driving could result in the death of you, your passengers, or other people on the road.
Think Twice About Underage Drinking and Driving
Minors and drunk driving don’t mix. As you can see, underage drinking and driving in Texas can result in extraordinary fines and consequences. Your best bet is to avoid drinking underage in general, and certainly, never drive while intoxicated.
However, if you’ve already been caught drinking and driving, you’re not without hope. Our law firm can represent your case and push for the most minimal fines possible. Contact us today to talk about your case and learn more about what we can do for you.