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What Are the Penalties for Underage DWI?

Underage drinking is a serious public health problem in the United States. Alcohol is the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth, and drinking by young people possess enormous health and safety risks,” according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

As a parent who attended high school in your youth, you’re well-aware of the problem of underage drinking. After all, you’ve witnessed it first-hand in your own life. Like all states in the United States, it’s against the law in Texas for young people under the age of 21 to drive a motor vehicle on a public roadway if they have ANY alcohol in their system.

What are the consequences of an underage DWI in Texas?

  • Class C misdemeanor
  • A fine not to exceed $500
  • A 60-day driver license suspension
  • Must complete an alcohol awareness class
  • Between 20 and 40 hours of community service

Note: Minors who commit underage DWI are not permitted to apply for an occupational license in the first 30 days, even if they need it to get to work or school.

A second underage DWI is punishable by:

  • Class C misdemeanor
  • A fine not to exceed $500
  • Between 40 and 60 hours of community service
  • A 120-day driver license suspension (minor cannot apply for an occupational license until 90 days elapse)
  • The judge decides if the minor is to attend an alcohol awareness class

For a third underage DWI, the minor faces a 180-day license suspension (with no occupational license available). If the minor is between the ages of 17 and 20, they will face a fine up to $2,000, or up to 180 days in jail, or a fine and confinement.

Are you, or your son or daughter facing underage DWI charges in Plano, Dallas or Fort Worth? If so, contact us at once for a case evaluation.