Texas has a serious "no tolerance" law for minors and especially strict consequences for drunk minors who get behind the wheel. If arrested, your child could face a DUI and a DUIA and could even be tried as an adult.
DUIAs and your underage child
If your child is under the age of 21 and is found to have any alcohol in their system, they could be arrested for their crime. If they get behind a wheel with even .01 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) they can be charged with a crime.
A person is charged with the crime of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) when operating a vehicle while their BAC is at or over .08 percent and they drive recklessly. A person can also be charged with the crime of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUIA) by committing a DWI while under the age of 21. They may face:
- A fine of up to $2,000, plus legal and towing fees
- 180-day jail sentence
- Revocation of license
- 20-60 hours of community service
- Ignition interlock device
If your child is a minor without a license under the age of 18 and they drink and drive, they face the severest consequences. Their consequences could include:
- The above penalties
- Prevention of future driving privileges
- Educational classes for both parents and child
Your child could be charged as an adult
It is generally understood that a conviction of a minor is almost always less severe than an adult's. Once a minor turns 18, their record may even be sealed, theoretically preventing it from affecting their adult life. However, a judge's opinion can be influenced by several things:
- Your child's behavior in the courtroom
- The severity of damage to people or property
- Prior offenses or failed attempts to rehabilitate
If your child has previously committed an alcohol-related crime, especially if they have two DUIA or DWIs, it may take legal representation to avoid serious jail time and being tried as an adult.