Now that summer is upon us, teens are spending more time out and about with their friends, at parties, or at work. Parents know that their teens don’t always make the best decisions and are prone to peer pressure. A parent may get a call from their son or daughter saying that they have been arrested for a DUI or DWI. Once a parent gets over their anger, they should understand the penalties their child is facing.
DWI/DUI in Texas
According to Texas law:
- A DUI is “driving under the influence of alcohol” in Texas. This term is reserved for those who are under the age of 21 as any amount of alcohol in their system is illegal. Texas is a “no tolerance” state so a minor who is driving with any amount of alcohol in their system can be arrested.
- A DWI is when a person has a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher or the driver is impaired. Police can charge minors for both a DUI and DWI
Potential penalties for underage drivers facing a DUI
The penalties for a DWI conviction are the same for minors and adults and can include fines and jail time. If there are any aggravating circumstances including an open container, driving under the influence with a minor in the car, a BAC over .15 or seriously injuring someone the penalties can be increased.
A first offense is a Class B felony and penalties may include:
- Fine of up to $2,000
- Jail for up to 180 days
- Driver’s license suspension of up to one year
If parents are facing a situation in which their teen is charged with a DUI they may want to speak with an attorney who specializes in criminal defense. An attorney is well-versed in DUI defense strategies and will aggressively defend their client against these charges.