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Underage Drinking Penalties in Dallas

If you are a parent, you can certainly recall being a teenager and seeing other teens drink alcohol. If you’re like most, you might have watched as minors drank beer at house parties or out in the country while sitting outside their vehicles.

Or, perhaps you watched as your own friends would try to purchase beer from a liquor store illegally. That teenager might have been you.

Now that you’re an adult, you certainly don’t want your own son or daughter making the same mistakes that you or your peers made. You may even be able to rattle off a few names of teens you knew back in the 1980s or 1990s who were arrested for DWI, or who were killed by drunk drivers. Some of them might have been killed by their own friends.

Today’s adults are a lot smarter than they were in their youth. So, when they see the state’s underage drinking laws – they understand the purpose behind them. Parents, teens and young adults, please be aware that Texas frowns on underage drinking and it punishes minors accordingly.

Here are the basics of Texas’ underage drinking laws:

If a minor attempts to purchase, purchases, possesses, or consumes alcoholic beverages, he or she is breaking the law. If a minor does any of the above, is drunk in public, or lies about their age to obtain an alcoholic beverage, they face the following penalties:

  • They will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor
  • They will be fined up to $500
  • They will have to put in up to 40 hours of community service
  • They will lose their driver’s license up to 6 months

There are many scenarios where a minor can break the state’s underage drinking laws. If a teen is intoxicated while walking down the street with friends, they can be arrested. If the police are called to a loud house party and they discover underage drinking, the underage party guests can be arrested on the spot.

If a police officer drives up on a group of teens who are drinking on a rural road, the teens can be arrested. Or, if a teenager attempts to buy a case of beer at a liquor store, they can be arrested.

Previous Alcohol-Related Convictions

If a young person is 17-years-of-age or older and he or she violates the state’s underage drinking laws for a third time, they will be fined up to $2,000, or they will be jailed for up to 6 months, or both, and their driver’s license will be suspended automatically.

Under the law, if a minor has any previous alcohol-related convictions, his or her driver’s license will be suspended for one year if the teen fails to attend an alcohol education class ordered by the judge.

Is your teen in trouble with the law because of an alcohol-related offense? If so, contact our Plano and Dallas criminal defense firm for a hard-hitting defense!