Denton Criminal Defense Lawyer
Texas Underage Drunk Driving Laws
In most states, the terms DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) are used interchangeably. In Texas, however, these are two distinct offenses. DWI is committed whenever a person drives while impaired or with a blood alcohol level above .08. The DUI offense specifically applies to intoxicated drivers who are under the age of 21 and have a blood alcohol level below .08.
Because people under age 21 are not supposed to be drinking alcohol at all, the penalties for drunk driving can be harsher for them than for adults. If you or your child has been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, you will need an experienced Denton criminal defense lawyer on your side. Call the offices of Karen Alexander & Associates today at 972-420-6560.
The Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving
People under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI if they are found to have any amount of alcohol in their system while driving. A BAL between .00 and .08 is considered a DUI offense, while a BAL of .08 or higher is called DWI and punished more severely.
The penalties for a first time DUI offense include:
- 30 day suspension of driver’s license
- A fine up to $500
- 20 or more hours of community service
- Mandatory completion of an alcohol education course
Repeat offenses will be punished with longer license suspensions and potentially higher fines. In addition, a second DUI conviction cannot be expunged.
The penalties for a first time DWI offense for underage drivers include:
- 72 hours to 180 days in jail
- A fine up to $2,000
- Driver’s license suspended between 90 days and one year
- Further penalties related to a separate charge of underage drinking
Repeat offenses can be penalized with longer jail sentences and larger fines. Anyone who has been charged with DUI or underage DWI needs a qualified Denton DWI attorney.
As you can see, accusations of underage drunk driving need to be taken seriously. To discuss your case with an experienced Denton underage DWI lawyer, contact Alexander & Associates at 972-420-6560.
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