Recently on our DUI forum a Texas minor asked, “I live in the State of Texas. I just got my license a few months back. Last weekend I went out, drank a few beers and got pulled over. My blood alcohol concentration was well over the legal limit for that of an adult. I am sure I will be charged with DWI. I am concerned about the DWI penalties and whether or not I might lose my license. What should I do?”
Arrested as a Texas minor for DWI
If you have been arrested in Texas aa a minor for driving while intoxicated (DWI) you have every reason to be concerned. While Texas considers it a serious offense to drive while intoxicated as an adult in some ways it’s more concerning if you are a minor.
While an adult can drive after legally consuming a certain amount of alcohol, minors are not allowed to operate a motorized vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. Minor drivers (which includes anyone under the age of 21) can be arrested and charged with a Class C misdemeanor if they do.
What does this mean for your DWI arrest? It means that it will be much less difficult for a police officer to prove you were intoxicated than it would be to prove an adult was intoxicated. In fact, the state will not have to prove that your BAC was at or above the illegal limit of 0.08% or that the amount of alcohol you drank caused the inability for you to safely operate your motorized vehicle. All the state will need to prove is that you had alcohol in your system while your operated your car.
Penalties for a DWI as a Texas minor
If you have been arrested for a DWI as a Texas minor you will have your licenses suspended. This can done immediately at the time of the DWI arrest if your refused to submit to a chemical test or if you took the chemical test and had any traceable amount of alcohol in your system. Additionally, the steps to request a challenge to the administrative license suspension is the same as that of an adult, you will have fifteen days from the date of the citation to request a hearing.
Penalties more severe for some minor drivers
Drivers over the age of 17 with BAC of 0.08% or higher may face the same penalties and fines as other older drivers charged with DWI.
- Possible fines up to $2,000
- Possible jail time from 3 to 180 days
- License suspension up to 2 years
- Annual surcharge of $2,000 for three years if you wish to keep your license
- DWI intervention and educational program
- Potential mandatory installation of a ignition interlock device
Younger drivers with a BAC of less than 0.08% may face less severe penalties:
- Up to a $500 fine,
- A 60-day driver license suspension
- 20 to 40 hours of community service
- Mandatory alcohol-awareness classes
Getting arrested for a DWI as a Texas minor is an offense that the State of Texas takes very seriously. Do not drink and drive. If you do get arrested for DWI as a minor, however, you might want to talk to a DWI lawyer.
Latest posts by Beth (see all)
- California DUI penalties for minors arrested for DUI? - May 6, 2017
- California DUI with minor in the car. What will happen? - April 30, 2017
- Delaware DUI what do I need to know? - April 23, 2017