Minor DUI in Texas: Laws, Punishment & Fines

Underage DWI Lawyer for Juveniles Under 18 in Dallas, Texas

Texas Courts will NOT be lenient on someone charged with drunk driving just because they are under 18 or not 21 yet. If you were charged with drunk driving and are a juvenile, you or your parents need to hire an experienced defense counsel. Clancy & Clancy Attorneys at Law has underage DWI lawyers ready to take your call. We answer our phones 24 hours a day for emergencies.

Texas Takes Juvenile Drunk Driving Seriously

Because of the number of drunken driving accidents that occur in Texas every year involving people under the legal drinking age, the state has taken an aggressive stance against minors drinking and driving. Strict laws and serious penalties have been imposed to reduce the number of underage drunk drivers on the roads. Whether it is a first DUI minor offense or not, the consequences of a conviction can be serious and long-lasting. You should hire an attorney with experience defending DWI charges.

Texas Laws Regarding Underage DWI

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is defined in the Texas Penal Code, Section 49.04 as being
“intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”
Intoxicated is defined as
“not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more.”
Determining whether a person is intoxicated behind the wheel is done through testing a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In Texas, the BAC limits for drivers are:
  • 21 and Older: 0.08%
  • Commercial drivers: 0.04%
  • Younger than 21: Any detectible amount

Underage Drunk Driving is Called DUI in Texas

In Texas, it is illegal for a minor to consume any amount of alcohol and drive in a public space. It also includes driving watercraft in addition to motor vehicles and is known as the Texas Zero Tolerance Law. As a result, the state created a separate drinking and driving offense for a minor arrested with less than 0.08% of alcohol in their system while behind the wheel. Driving under the influence (DUI) is an offense that is reserved only for drivers under the age of 21 and under the adult blood alcohol concentration.

Underage DUI Penalties

Texas DUI law defines the penalties for a first, second, and third DUI offense. The penalties for an underage DUI include: First Offense
  • Class C Misdemeanor
  • Fine: up to $500
  • Attendance at an alcohol awareness class
  • Community service: between eight and twelve hours
  • Driver’s license suspended: up to 30 days
Second Offense
  • Class C Misdemeanor
  • Fine: up to $500
  • Possible attendance at an alcohol awareness class
  • Community service: between twenty and 40 hours
  • Driver’s license suspended: up to 60 days
Third Offense
  • Class C Misdemeanor
  • Fine: up to $500
  • Possible attendance at an alcohol awareness class
  • Community service: between 40 and 60 hours
  • Driver’s license suspended: up to 180 days, and no occupational license allowed
The penalties for underage DUI are increased if the driver is found to be seventeen or older and has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. These penalties include:
  • Fine: up to $2,000
  • Jail term: between three and 180 days
  • Driver’s license suspended: between 90 days and one year