Dallas Underage DWI Attorney
Protecting the Rights & Future of Minors Facing Drunk Driving Charges in TX
Although minors and young adults are not allowed to drink and purchase alcohol until they turn 21 years old, alcohol consumption and binge drinking common among high school and college students despite the law. Unfortunately, this type of behavior can lead to underage DWI charges in Texas, which can be a minor’s or parent’s worst nightmare. That is why it is imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you and your child.
At Scott H. Palmer, P.C., we are dedicated to helping minors and young adults avoid serious criminal penalties. Our legal team can help you or your child navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system or juvenile justice system and do our best to either get your entire case dismissed or your charges or penalties reduced.
Call (214) 891-3382 today for a confidential consultation with our Dallas underage DWI lawyers.
Texas Underage DWI Penalties
In Texas, the legal limit for adults who are at least 21 years of age is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent. Since it is against the law for anyone under 21 to consume alcohol in the state, there are alcohol “zero tolerance” rules for those motorists. In other words, any detectable amount of alcohol in an underage driver’s system can result in a DWI conviction—no matter if the driver is intoxicated or not.
If a minor under 17 years old is arrested for drunk driving, he/she can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA), which is a Class C misdemeanor. A first conviction is punishable by a maximum $500 fine, driver’s license suspension for at least 60 days, up to 40 hours of community service, and enrollment in an “Alcohol Awareness Course.”
If a motorist between the age of 17 and 20 years old is arrested for DUIA, it is a Class B misdemeanor. A first conviction carries a jail sentence of up to 180 days (six months), a fine not exceeding $2,000, and driver’s license for at least one year. However, the suspension period can be reduced to 90 days if the minor or young adult installs an ignition interlock device (IID) in his/her vehicle and agrees to community supervision.
Texas’ implied consent law also applies to underage drivers who are lawfully arrested for DUIA. If an underage driver refuses to submit to a chemical test, not only can he/she be subject to a 180-day driver’s license suspension, but he/she may also be jailed until his/her juvenile or criminal court appearance.
Ready to Fight for You Today
Although the criminal penalties for underage drunk driving are severe, having a DUIA conviction follow you around for the rest of your life can make it difficult to find a job or apply for college, thus ruining your future. With nearly five decades of combined legal experience, our Dallas underage DWI attorneys understand what it takes to obtain the most favorable outcomes in drunk driving cases.
For more information about our legal services, contact us today.