Underage Drinking Penalties in Texas

Underage Drinking Penalties in Texas

It’s no secret that teenagers have a tendency to try to drink alcoholic beverages even though they are “too young” to drink legally. Unfortunately, what many teens fail to realize is that not only are they breaking the law by consuming alcohol, but the penalties are severe.

If you are a minor, or if you’re a parent whose son or daughter is a minor, please be aware that when a minor in Texas purchases, attempts to purchase, possesses, or consumes alcohol, they will face legal consequences.

It’s also illegal for a minor to be intoxicated in public, and it’s illegal for a minor to lie about their age in order to obtain alcoholic beverages. According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, whenever a minor commits any of the underage drinking offenses mentioned above, he or she faces these consequences:

  • They will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor
  • They will be fined up to $500
  • Between 8 and 40 hours of community service
  • Up to 6 months denial or loss of driver’s license

If the minor commits their third alcohol-related offense and they are 17 years of age or older, they face up to a $2,000 fine, or up to 6 months in jail, or both. Also, their driver’s license will be subject to an automatic license suspension.

Let’s say the minor has previous alcohol-related convictions. In that case, his or her driver’s license will be suspended automatically for one year if the minor fails to attend alcohol awareness training, which has been court-ordered by a judge.

Penalties for Giving Alcohol to a Minor

Parents please beware that giving alcohol to a minor is illegal under Texas law. If an adult gives alcohol to a minor, or if a minor gives alcohol to another minor, they will face stiff penalties.

If anyone gives alcohol to a minor, they are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $4,000 fine, or up to one year, or both. Additionally, if you (the adult) give alcohol to a minor, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 6 months upon conviction.

If you are 21 or older and you give alcohol to a minor and you are not their parent or guardian, you can be held liable for any damages caused by the intoxicated minor if you knowingly gave them alcohol, or knowingly allowed the minor to be served alcohol on a premises that you owned or leased.

Selling alcohol to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $4,000, or up to one year in jail, or both.

Looking for a Plano criminal defense lawyer to defend you or your teenager? Contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a consultation!