Young people sometimes act recklessly, making decisions that could lead to legal trouble and other consequences. One of these mistakes could include drinking and driving. While underage drinking and driving is a mistake and a crime, it is not a decision that has to define the rest of your life.
If you are under the age of 21 and facing drunk driving charges, there are serious criminal penalties at risk. However, you have the right to defend yourself and to fight the charges against you. With help and experienced guidance, it is possible to shield yourself from potential negative consequences and protect your future interests.
Underage drinking comes at a price
Texas state laws take a strong stand against underage drunk driving. The penalties for underage DUI are significant, and they can compromise your financial well-being, your reputation and other areas of your life. Simply possession of alcohol as an underage person could result in the following penalties:
- Mandatory attendance in alcohol-awareness class
- License suspension for a period of 30 to 180 days
- Fines as high as $500
- Eight to 40 hours of community service
Just possession of alcohol can lead to significant penalties for a person under the age of 21. However, the penalties and consequences increase in severity if an underage individual gets behind the wheel. The penalties for a first offense for underage drinking and driving with any discernible amount of alcohol in the system are as follows:
- Driver's license suspension for as long as 60 days
- As much as $5,000 in fines
- Twenty to 40 hours in community service
- Mandatory attendance in classes for alcohol awareness
The penalties can be more severe if an underage driver registers a BAC of .08 percent or higher. It is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to drive with any amount of alcohol in his or her system. It is possible to face criminal charges for driving even after just one drink.
Is your future at risk?
An underage drunk driving charge can ruin your reputation, your college and career opportunities, and even your right to drive from one place to another. Fortunately, a conviction or guilty plea is not your only option. With experienced defense counsel, you can fight these charges and pursue a beneficial outcome.
There is a lot at stake, but a strong defense can allow you to shield your future interests and mitigate some of the potential consequences you are currently facing.