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Underage DWI

Adult drivers over the age of 18 may be able to vote, get a credit card, or join the military. However, drivers under the age of 21 are still prohibited from driving with any amount of alcohol in the body. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy towards underage drinking and driving. Any traceable amount of alcohol in an underage driver's body is enough to subject the driver to harsh penalties. 

If you or your child was charged with a DWI in Texas, contact Texas DWI lawyer Jason S. English to fight for your rights, protect your driving privileges, and avoid a criminal record.

Under-21 DWI in Texas

Texas does not mess around when it comes to underage drinking and driving. The state's “zero tolerance,” laws make it a violation for a driver under 21 to have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. Adult drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% can be charged with per se driving while intoxicated (DWI). For underage drivers, a BAC of 0.01% or higher is enough to trigger serious penalties. 

Implied Consent for Underage Drivers

You may not know it, but you have given your implied consent to blood or breath chemical testing if you are arrested on suspicion of a DWI in Texas. Drivers who operate a vehicle on public roads in the state have automatically consented to provide a breath or blood sample for testing for the presence of alcohol and/or drugs. Refusal to provide a specimen for testing will result in an automatic license suspension, as follows: 

  • First breath or blood test refusal: 180-day license suspension
  • Second or subsequent breath or blood test refusal: two-year license suspension

Penalties for Underage DWI in Texas

The penalties for a DWI in Texas depend on a number of factors, including the driver's age, blood-alcohol level, whether anyone was injured in a drunk driving accident, or if there were children in the vehicle.  

DUIA for a Minor Under 21 Years of Age

The penalties for a driver under the age of 21 who is arrested with any trace amount of alcohol in the blood may include the following: 

DUIA for Under 21 Drivers 

Fines

Community Service

License Suspension

Alcohol Awareness Course

1st Offense

Up to $500

20 to 40 Hours

60 to 180 Days

Yes

2nd Offense

Up to $500

40 to 60 Hours

120 Days to 2 Years

Yes

3rd Offense

Up to $500

40 to 60 Hours

180 Days to 2 Years

Yes

DWI for Drivers Under 21 Years of Age

If a driver is impaired to the extent that they can be charged with a regular DWI, the driver can face the same criminal charges as an adult. A DWI includes drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher or a driver who does not have, “the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of,” alcohol and/or drugs. 

DWI Charge

Fines

Jail Time

License Suspension

Alcohol Awareness Course

1st Offense

Up to $2,000

3 up to 180 Days

Up to 1 Year

12 Hour DWI Education

2nd Offense

Up to $4,000

30 Days up to 1 Year

Up to 18 Months

32 Hour DWI Intervention

3rd Offense (Felony)

Up to $10,000

2 up to 10 Years

Up to 2 Years

32 Hour DWI Intervention

Austin DWI Defense for Underage Drivers

Jason S. English was a criminal prosecutor for 15 years. He understands how prosecutors approach drunk driving criminal cases and what they do to try and get the accused to plead guilty. Before pleading guilty to any crime, make sure you understand your rights and options to fight the criminal charges. 

If you are accused of an under-21 DWI in Texas, it is important to speak to a criminal defense attorney right away. Contact Texas DWI lawyer Jason S. English online or call (512) 454-7548. With his many years of experience prosecuting DWIs, Jason S. English is well-prepared to fight for your constitutional rights.

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