Underage Juvenile DUI
Zero Tolerance Law
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens are at a far greater risk of death in alcohol related crashes. A Juvenile DWI prosecution takes into account that juveniles possess the dangerous combination of a low tolerance to alcohol with a lack of maturity that would enable them to understand the danger. The State of Texas has a zero tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21. A driver who is under 21 can be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), even though their BAC may be less than .08%. Having any detectable amount of alcohol in the system is cause for a DUI.
If the minor has a BAC of .08% or higher, they could be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) which has more severe penalties. In either case, a Houston DWI attorney should be consulted to ensure that the correct legal procedure is being followed and there are no violations of the minor’s rights.
Penalties for an Underage DUI
Driving under the influence is considered a Class C misdemeanor. Upon being charged with DUI, the Texas Department of Public Safety will try to suspend the minor’s license. You will have 15 days to request a hearing to attempt to stop the suspension from occurring. Besides license suspension, other penalties can include fines of up to $500, community service and attending an alcohol awareness program. Penalties increase based on the number of times you have been charged with DUI. The penalties for DWI are even harsher.
Here at Chernoff Law, one of our lawyers in Board Certified in criminal law and our team understands the many complex legal issues concerning underage DUI. The consequences of being charged with DUI can adversely affect a person’s future. It is in the best interest of a minor and his family to retain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced DUI lawyer.