The laws for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) are different for minors than they are for adults. An adult who is legally able to drink (21 years of age or older) has a limitation of 0.08% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) before it is considered a crime. With a teenager, any amount of alcohol in the bloodstream is illegal.
Being arrested for a DUI as a teenager is a serious offense. It is important that if your teenager was arrested, you contact an experienced Travis County criminal defense attorney right away. At Granger and Mueller PC , we have extensive experience defending both adults and minors for DUI-related offenses. While your teenager could rely on a public defender, it is imperative that they have an aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side in order to prepare the best defense possible. A skilled attorney may be able to get the charges dropped or reduced.
What Happens After My Teenager is Arrested?
If your teenager was arrested for a DUI , the criminal process will commence. He or she will need to plead guilty or not guilty to start. If your child pleads guilty, the case will advance to the sentencing phase with the judge providing his or her recommendations. If your child pleads not guilty, the attorney will begin work on preparing a defense.
Penalties for Underage Drinking
Minors who are found in possession of alcohol can face an array of penalties:
Fine up to $500
Driver’s license suspension of 30-180 days
Community service of eight to 40 hours
Required alcohol-awareness classes
Any amount of alcohol can trigger an arrest, while subsequent offenses can increase the amount of time on your driver’s license suspension from 60 to 180 days. If you are 17 and older, the fine can jump to $2,000 and you can be incarcerated for up to 180 days for a third offense.
For defendants who are accused of underage drinking and driving, the first offense can result in:
Fine up to $500
Driver’s license suspension of 60 days
Community service of 20 to 40 hours
Mandatory alcohol-awareness courses
Defendants who were 17 or older and were arrested for drinking and driving with a BAC of .08 or higher could be facing:
Fine up to $2,000
Three to 180 days in jail
Driver’s License suspension of 90 days to a year
If you are arrested on a second or third offense, the penalties will increase, as well. This is because teenage drinking is considered a zero-tolerance offense in Texas.
Do Not Provide Alcohol to Minors
Do not be the one who is supplying alcohol to a minor. Furnishing alcohol to someone who is under 21 years of age can result in up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. If you sell alcohol to someone under 21 years of age, it is deemed a Class A misdemeanor which can result in a year in jail and a $4,000 fine in Texas.
Parents, spouses, and legal guardians are allowed to furnish alcohol to a child provided they are physically present when the minor has it or consumes it.
Contact a Travis County Criminal Defense Attorney
If your teenager was arrested for a DUI, contact the office of Granger and Mueller PC at 512-474-9999 to schedule a consultation.
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