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!