Teens and young adults are prone to making poor decisions at times. At that young age the human brain is not developed to a point where older adult brains are, and as a result, best decision making has not set in yet. Sadly, one poor decision in youth can impact the rest of life if not checked and corrected. Worse, being falsely accused in younger years can have the same result.
Under Texas laws, there is generally zero tolerance for underage drinkers by police officers and prosecutors. The law makes it illegal for any person under the age of 21 to have any detectable amount of alcohol while driving. This means that unlike adults who are allowed to have a blood alcohol content less than .08, minors are not allowed any amount of alcohol in their blood while driving.
If caught, the penalties can get quite severe. For a first time offense fines can reach $500, a 60-day license suspension is in order, 40 hours of community service, and mandatory alcohol awareness classes. Those are the fines and penalties for any amount of alcohol, but if the minor’s BAC is .08 or more, the penalties get even more severe. For those instances the young driver faces fines of up to $2,000, 180 days in jail, and a license suspension for 90 days to a year.
Roadmap for the Future
Though teens do not realize it, the decisions they make in youth will have an impact going forward. It can affect college admission applications, job prospects, military services, and other areas of life where being without prior convictions is beneficial. All of this gets compounded especially when the teen is falsely accused, or not at fault in the way the police accuse.
Aggressively defending underage DWI charges is just as important as it is for adult DWIs. Any youth accused of DWI has the same procedural, and constitutional protections as an adult’s, and they should be advanced by a qualified attorney. There are some differences from the adult system, and that can be advantageous, but each charge for DWI should be taken very seriously.
The sad truth is that police officers are not perfect in how they conduct investigations and file charges. This results in situations where constitutional rights are violated, and the courts should be asked and required to make it right. This can happened by suppressing evidence, dismissing a case, or reducing charges. One thing is for sure, just because Texas treats underage DWI as zero tolerance, does not mean the youth is guilty. Our country prides itself on a system of justice where the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Defending Your Rights
At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm we defend DWIs. It is what we do, and we do it everyday. From the beginning of your case and investigation the facts, to negotiating with the prosecution, to taking your case to trial, we are the partner you need in your DWI defense. Contact us so we can provide you with a free case evaluation and being defending you today.