Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P.


Underage DUI charges in Texas

A resident of the Killeen and Fort Hood area probably knows that he or she is going to potentially be in for some legal trouble if he or she happens to get pulled over after having a few drinks with some friends.

After all, any DUI/DWI conviction in this state, even for a first-time offense, can carry with it the potential of jail time, probation, a license suspension and a lot of expense in terms of fines and other costs.

However, if a person who gets pulled over on the suspicion of drunk driving happens to be under 21, both the nature of the case and the penalties are different. These differences make an underage DUI an even more serious matter for a young Texan, which means it's all the more important to legally address the problem promptly and correctly.

It is illegal in Texas for a person under 21 to have any amount of alcohol in their systems while they are driving. Unlike for those over 21, there simply is no leeway for someone under 21 to have a drink or two and still be "okay" to drive, especially since that person really should not have been drinking alcohol at all.

A young motorist who gets caught with alcohol in his or her system faces a $500 fine, a license suspension of up to one year and a mandatory Alcohol Education Program, which must offer at least 12 hours of instruction. A person who fails to complete the program will have to serve an additional 180-day license suspension.

Moreover, these penalties only apply if the person was below the .08 legal limit in Texas. If someone under 21 happens also to blow over .08, then additional penalties may apply.

Obviously, by the time someone hits their late teens and early twenties, they need to be able to use their vehicle in order to go to places like work or school. Losing the ability to drive can be devastating, which is why someone accused of underage DUI may want to speak with an experienced DWI/DUI attorney.

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