One mistake can change your child’s life forever. Work with experienced criminal defense attorney
Finding out that your child has been driving while under the influence stirs a variety of emotions in parents: On the one hand, there is a moment of panic and concern that your child could end up like the many teens who drink and drive and get into accidents as a result; and on the other hand, you have to protect your child from what can be an extremely penalizing, possibly future-destroying criminal justice system for minors.
When it comes to minors (teenagers) getting DUIs, not only are they facing the repercussions and penalties that come along with getting a DUI, but the legal system is also arguably tougher on them because they were also drinking underage. It thus behooves you to ensure that you work with a criminal defense attorney who specifically has experience in representing juveniles who are charged with DUIs, and can help guide you both in ensuring that this one mistake doesn’t ruin your child’s life.
DUI Penalties for Underage Drivers in Texas
Texas has a zero tolerance law when it comes to minors (i.e. anyone under the age of 21) and alcohol. If your child is pulled over with any amount of alcohol in their system, they could face the following penalties for their first offense:
- License suspension for up to one year;
- A fine of up to $500;
- Participation in an Alcohol Education Program, which teaches minors about the relationship between alcohol and drugs and driving, as well as related issues, such as abuse and addiction;
- Facing an additional 180 days of license suspension if they fail to complete the Alcohol Education Program; and
- 90-day license suspension and use of an ignition interlock device if the judge gives them community service. Sometimes, the judge will substitute the program with community service (between eight and 40 hours). However, if the judge does not substitute the program and the minor simply fails to complete it (or the community service), they can have their license suspended for six months.
That being said, if your child has previous offenses, or if someone was injured or killed, the penalties will be more severe. In addition, if your teenager refuses to take a blood or breath test, they can also face Administrative License Revocation in addition to criminal DUI penalties. For a minor’s first offense, their license is revoked for 180 days, for a second offense, two years.
DUI Defense Attorney Serving Clients in Brazoria, Galveston, and Harris Counties, Texas
If your child is convicted of drunk driving, their life will be affected in countless ways. Not only could they go to jail, but they will lose their driver’s license, and their record could be destroyed forever.
Contact Scott M. Brown & Associates today to find out how we can help. Our attorneys are highly experienced in defending against DUI charges and in juvenile criminal defense. We aggressively defend our clients and help them move on with their lives.