Skilled Attorneys in Texas
Car accidents involving young drivers are an unfortunately common occurrence, and alcohol use is among the leading factors in these crashes. To help prevent these accidents and protect other drivers, Texas has strict laws regarding minors and the use of alcohol in place. In addition to losing your driving privileges, violations can also result in heavy fines, mandatory community service, and a potential jail sentence. At Scott M. Brown & Associates, you can trust our Galveston DWI/DUI defense lawyers to provide the aggressive legal representation need if you or a young person you love faces these types of charges. The potential for penalties and the impact on your driving privileges make it important to get help in defending yourself in these cases.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) By a Minor
Adult drivers can be charged with driving while intoxicated if they are found operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or greater. For those under the age of 21, who are considered a minor in Texas, it is illegal to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system. Under Section 106.041 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance is prohibited. These charges vary depending on the age of the minor and any prior DUI convictions.
For Minors Under the Age of 17
For minors under the age of 17, a first or second offense for DUI may be charged as a Class C misdemeanor. Penalties include:
- Fines up to $500;
- Up to 60 hours mandatory community service;
- Mandatory attendance at an alcohol education course.
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For Minors Between The Ages Of 17 and 20
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) advises that in addition to mandatory community service, drivers over 17 face the following penalties:
- First offense: Fines up to $2,000 and/or maximum jail sentence up to 180 days;
- Second offense: Fines up to $4,000 and/or up to one year jail sentence;
- Third offense: As felony DWI charges, these carry fines up to $10,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment.
We Can Protect Your Driving Privileges
In addition to the fines and other penalties you face, you will also have to deal with the loss of your driving privileges. This can make getting to work or school a challenge, while also making it more difficult to fulfill your mandatory community service requirements. The Texas DPS advises that the length of your suspension varies depending on your prior charges:
- For a first offense: 60 days;
- For a second offense: 120 days;
- For any subsequent offenses: 180 days.
By law, you are required to submit to alcohol testing and failing to do so could result in an automatic 180 day license suspension for a first refusal, and up to two years for any subsequent stops.
Our Galveston DUI Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you or someone you care about is facing DUI charges, reach out and contact Scott M. Brown & Associates. We can arrange a consultation with our Galveston DUI lawyers, to discuss the best course of action in your case.