Whether you view underage drinking as an act of rebellion by those looking to defy their parents, a result of peer pressure, or young adults making poor decisions, one thing is true – when an underage drunk driver gets behind the wheel, it can have severe repercussions. If you or your child were caught driving while under the influence under 21 years old, it’s important to understand that the consequences for underage DWIs are different. As such, the following blog explores what you should know about these matters and why it’s in your best interest to connect with Houston DWI lawyers if you or your child are in trouble.

Do Underage Drivers Have a Different BAC?

Texas, like most states, does have a different Blood Alcohol Concentration limit for underage drivers. This is because it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. While adults are charged automatically when they have a BAC at the legal limit of 0.08%, a driver under 21 can face a DUI if they have any amount of detectable alcohol in their system. This is because Texas is a Zero-Tolerance policy state.

It’s important to understand that even half of a beer can cause a 16-year-old to receive a DWI in Texas.

Are the Penalties the Same for Underage DWIs?

The penalties for drunk driving can vary depending on your age. It’s important to understand that Texas considers anyone under the age of 21 a minor concerning drunk driving, but the charges can change depending on whether you are older or younger than 17.

If you are under 17, the penalties are slightly less intense. However, you can still face a fine of up to $500, 40 hours of community service, and mandatory participation in an alcohol awareness class. Additionally, your license may be suspended for up to six months.

However, if you are 17 to 20 years old, you will face a Class B misdemeanor charge, just as anyone over the age of 21 would face. This charge carries a mandatory minimum of 3 days in jail with the potential for 180, a one-year license suspension, and up to $2,000 in fines.

It’s important to understand that a DWI can severely impact your life, regardless of how old you are. This will remain on your record, which can impact your ability to get a job in some circumstances. This is because a DWI will stay on your record permanently unless you can get it sealed or expunged, both of which can be challenging.

Whether you are wrongfully accused or make a naive error, understanding the importance of connecting with the Spark Law Firm is essential. We know that mistakes happen, which is why we are here to fight for you. Our team will do everything in our power to fight for the best possible outcome for you and your circumstances. Connect with us today to learn how we can help you.