Underage DWI Defense in Fort Worth
Defense for Texas' Tough DWI Laws
In Texas, you could be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) if it is discovered that you were operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or greater and/or your ability to drive has been impaired by the effects of alcohol or drugs.
This means that you could even be arrested for DWI if you have ingested prescription medications that impaired your normal mental or physical faculties—as it is really up to the law enforcement officer to decide whether or not you are too intoxicated to drive.
If you need to get defense from an experienced Fort Worth DUI lawyer, look to The Law Office of Samuel R. Terry, P.C. Call the firm today to get started.
What Prosecution Must Prove
When it comes to the crime of driving under the influence (DUI), however, two things must be proven: 1) the driver is under the age of 21 and 2) the driver has consumed a measurable amount of alcohol. While both adults and minors could be arrested for DWI, DUI charges are exclusively reserved for minor drivers. Since Texas upholds a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving, minor drivers could be charged with DUI for having a measurable amount of alcohol in their system.
In some cases, a law enforcement officer will even make an arrest if they have simply detected the smell of alcohol on a driver's breath—as they do not necessarily need to administer a breath test to prove that the driver has illegally consumed alcohol. This crime is often prosecuted as Class C misdemeanor, but the charges could be increased if the underage driver's blood-alcohol concentration is measured at .08% or greater.
Penalties for an Under 21 DUI Conviction
As an underage driver, having any measurable amount of alcohol in your system or even the smell of alcohol on your breath could lead to a DUI arrest. While this crime is not punished as severely as DWI, since it is technically just a violation of the state's zero tolerance laws, you could still face some serious legal consequences.
For this reason, it is highly recommended that you speak with my Fort Worth criminal law firm if you have been charged with DUI. In doing so, you may be able to successfully avoid the following penalties:
- 60-day driver's license suspension
- Up to $500 in fines
- 20-40 hours of community service
- Mandatory enrollment in DUI class
Companion Charges for Minor Drivers
Since it is a crime in it of itself to consume or purchase alcohol as an individual under the age of 21, you could be charged with additional violations after being stopped for DUI in Texas. In fact, it is not uncommon for a law enforcement officer to tack on companion charges to those already imposed for driving under the influence, including:
- Misrepresenting your age
- Possessing alcohol
- Consuming alcohol
- Purchasing alcohol
- Being publicly intoxicated
For each additional offense, you could face the suspension of your driver's license for 30 days, 60 days or 180 days, depending on whether it is your first, second or third alcohol-related offense. As such, you should not hesitate to contact our firm if you have been charged with a similar offense. We offer free case evaluations.
Call a Fort Worth Criminal Lawyer
If you or your child has been charged with an underage DUI offense in Texas, you should not hesitate to get in touch with The Law Office of Samuel R. Terry, P.C. For this reason, we encourage you to take the first step today by enlisting professional help.
When you call our office at (817) 882-9977 or submit a free case evaluation form online, our firm can provide you with the seasoned legal advice that you need.