Nowadays, more and more people start drinking alcohol before the age of 21, and some start even before they are 18. However, underage drinking is still a crime in all 50 states and can result in a misdemeanor.
Underage drinking laws in Texas
In Texas, there are various crimes related to the possession and consumption of alcohol by a minor. Some of these crimes include:
- Purchasing alcohol
- Attempting to purchase alcohol
- Lying about their age to purchase alcohol
- Possessing or consuming alcohol
- Becoming intoxicated in public
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol
Are there any exceptions?
In Texas, minors may possess or consume alcohol while in the visible presence of a legal aged parent, guardian, or spouse. Minors may also be able to possess alcohol while within the course and scope of their employment, depending on the job.
What are the consequences for underage drinking?
In Texas, if you are charged with an underage drinking crime, you may be convicted of a Class C misdemeanor. The consequences you face may include:
- Fines (maximum of $500)
- Mandatory alcohol awareness course
- Community service (8 to 40 hours)
- Suspension or denial of driver’s license (30 to 180 days)
If you have two prior offenses on your record and are over the age of 17, you may face additional fines, automatic license suspension, and/or possible jail time.
If you have been charged with a crime relating to underage drinking, a criminal defense attorney with experience handling juvenile crimes may be able to help reduce your charges or get them dismissed.