It’s common knowledge that teens are in the habit of drinking alcohol, even though it’s against the law. While they can’t legally purchase alcohol in stores or at licensed establishments, they find ways to gain access to wine, beer and liquor. This could mean using a fake ID, paying an adult friend or stranger to buy it, or it could mean simply stealing alcohol from their parents.
There are several issues with underage drinking: 1) teens are in the habit of binge drinking which can lead to blackouts and engaging in risky behavior, 2) teens (especially males) are prone to drinking and driving or riding in a car with other teens who’ve been drinking, and 3) teens don’t typically understand the full effects of alcohol and binging leads to poor, and sometimes dangerous decisions.
In light of the above, let’s take a look at the offense of underage drinking and driving.
Underage Drinking and Driving in Texas
In Texas, it’s illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to drive with any alcohol in their body whatsoever. This means an underage driver can’t even have a bottle of beer or half a glass of wine and climb behind the wheel. So, if you’re 16 and you’re caught drinking and driving, the following penalties can be imposed:
- A maximum fine of $500
- Up to 40 hours of community service
- A driver license suspension for 60 days
- Alcohol awareness classes
If you’re between the ages of 17 and 20 and you’re caught driving with a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher, the following penalties may be imposed:
- A maximum fine of $2,000
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Up to one year driver license suspension
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a “priorable offense,” which means if you’re caught driving under the influence a second, third, or fourth time, each offense will involve stiffer penalties, such as a longer license suspension, higher fines, and a longer jail sentence.
Facing underage DWI charges in Plano or the surrounding areas? Contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today.