Impaired Driving When You Are Under 21

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Brett Pritchard Law

When we think about driving under the influence of alcohol, we think about being over the legal limit, which amounts to having a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or above (in every state). If you are under the legal drinking age of 21, however, this limit is immaterial because the State of Texas takes a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinkers who get behind the wheel. Regardless of the amount of alcohol you consumed or when you consumed it, if you are determined to have alcohol in your bloodstream, you are over the legal limit and may face charges of driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor (DUIA by a minor).

Texas DUIA Penalties

If you are facing a first charge of DUIA by a minor, the potential penalties are significant and include:

  • Fines of up to $500

  • A suspension of your driver’s license for up to 60 days

  • Sentencing of up to 40 hours of community service

  • Mandatory alcohol-awareness classes

These fines and penalties can increase significantly with repeat offenses, so it’s important to present a strong defense even for your first offense.

DWI Charges

If you are between the ages of 17 and 20 and you are stopped with a BAC that is 0.08 percent or higher, you are subject to the same driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges that an adult would be, and the consequences are even more costly. These include – for a first offense – up to $2,000 in fines, up to 180 days behind bars, and a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.

Your Future

We all make mistakes, and for many, high school and college are the times when most of these mistakes are made. Whatever your situation, the effects of a DUIA as a minor or a DWI conviction can negatively reverberate into your future and can diminish your educational and professional opportunities. Pleading guilty to a DUIA charge le will not do you any favors, and the fact is that testing for BAC is far from perfect, and the police are far from infallible. Even if you had been drinking at the time you were pulled over, an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain that protects your future opportunities. Whether you exercised bad judgment, slipped up, or were falsely charged, you owe it to yourself and to your future to obtain experienced legal counsel who will vigorously defend your rights throughout the legal process.

An Experienced Killeen Criminal Attorney Can Help

Facing a DUIA as a minor charge is never easy, but your rights and your future are far too important not to fight for the best possible resolution of your case. Brett Pritchard is a criminal attorney who is committed to aggressively advocating for your case’s best possible resolution. We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.

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