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In typical driving while under the influence (DWI) cases, there is some leeway in how cops determine if someone is intoxicated; however, with underage drivers, there is no such thing. Today, Smith & Vinson Law Firm will discuss underage DWIs and subsequent penalties.

Definition of Underage DWI

As stated in the Texas Department of Transportation website, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. Therefore, if an officer uses a breathalyzer test to gauge an underage person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and it is over 0.00%, the officer can arrest the minor for an underage DUI.

Penalties of an Underage DUI

An underage DUI is typically a Texas Class C misdemeanor; however, penalties will increase for minors who are convicted for multiple DUIs.

A Texas Class C misdemeanor conviction for underage DWI may result in the following penalties for the accused:

  • Up to a $500 fine;
  • A 60-day driver license suspension;
  • 20 to 40 hours of community service;
  • Mandatory alcohol awareness classes.

However, if the accused is 17 or older and had a BAC of .08 or greater, he or she could face:

  • Up to a $2,000 fine;
  • Three to 180 days in jail;
  • A driver license suspension for 90 days to a year.

Have You Been Accused?

If you or a loved one has been accused of an underage DWI, an experienced juvenile crimes attorney can defend your case. Smith & Vinson Law Firm offers award-winning representation to Austin and the surrounding areas.

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