Being a parent isn’t an easy job-especially during the teen years. You know your teenager is bound to make mistakes and get into trouble, but what do you do if get a call one night that your teen has been cited for DWI (driving while intoxicated) and is waiting for you to pick them up at Collin County Jail? It’s every parent’s nightmare, but it does happen.
Zero tolerance underage DWI laws
Texas is one of many states with zero-tolerance laws for drivers under 21 who are cited for drunk driving because auto accidents are still the number one cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds, with 28% related to alcohol consumption. With zero tolerance laws, drivers under 21 can have a .01 blood alcohol content (BAC) in their system and still receive the following consequences with a DUIA (driving under the influence of alcohol) offense:
- A $500 fine
- A 60-day license suspension
- 20 to 40 hours of mandated community service
- Mandatory alcohol-awareness classes
For those who are 17-20, drivers with a .8 BAC face even stiffer penalties-possibly a one-year driver’s license suspension, a $2,000 fine and a jail sentence.
Texas DWI laws also cover drugged driving. Anyone driving dangerously under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and opiates also can receive a DWI and they face the same penalties for a drunk driving offense.
However, drugged driving can be harder for police to prove.
If your teen has received a DWI citation, contact an experienced defense attorney. You don’t want this mistake to result in a felony conviction, which can have long-lasting effects on college admission and future employment.