Protecting Minors Accused Of Drinking & Driving

Similar to other states, the legal drinking age in Texas is 21 years old. This means that any alcohol consumption by an individual under that age is against the law. Because of this strict policy on alcohol use, there is a parallel statute pertaining to driving while intoxicated under the age of 21.

Since the law on the legal age is clear, there is a “zero tolerance” policy in Texas on the matter of underage DUI. This means that an individual under the legal age who is found with any traceable amount of alcohol in his or her bloodstream will face criminal charges.

Adults over the age of 18, but not yet 21, years of age are subject to prosecution in normal criminal court and will be tried for the alleged crime as adults. For these individuals, any traced alcohol in their bloodstream at the time of a traffic stop will constitute a criminal charge.

Penalties For Juvenile DUI

Individuals convicted of driving under the influence before their 21st birthday may face license suspensions and other penalties. A first conviction can result in a 30 day license suspension, a second offense may result in a 60 day license suspension, and a third offense can result in a 180 license suspension. Because minors are not allowed to consume alcohol in the first place, Juvenile DUI is often accompanied by charges that involve attempting to purchase alcohol, age misrepresentation, alcohol possession or public intoxication. Juvenile DUI can result in a year of incarceration and probation for a period of three to five years. Sometimes, juvenile DUI results in a fine of $100 to $2,500. Additionally, a young person arrested for DUI may have his/her car impounded and have to take drug/alcohol education classes. These classes are provided to create awareness among drivers and to facilitate safe driving habits in people who have committed traffic infractions or crimes. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest, an underage DUI conviction may result in extra fees as well. For instance, if the driver’s car must be impounded or towed, the driver may be responsible to pay for these services. In the United States, car accidents are the leading cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 20. Statistically, about 28% of 15 to 20 year olds involved in car accidents are reported to have been drinking before they drove. Additionally, 28.5% of high-school students admit that they have ridden in a car with an intoxicated underage driver. According to studies, impaired teenage drivers are far less likely to wear seatbelts, increasing the likelihood of fatal accidents.

Receive A Case Evaluation From Our Plano DUI Attorney

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 5,000 individuals less than 21 years old are killed every year the United States as a result of underage drinking. 1,900 of these deaths involve car accidents. If your child has been accused of drunk driving, contact an experienced Plano criminal defense attorney from the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, today. We have the experience and practical skill to help you obtain the favorable case outcome you need. Contact us today to see what a skilled lawyer can do for you!