Underage drinking can get your kids into big trouble in Texas. As a parent, it should be your goal to teach your children the risks of underage drinking and how they could be penalized if they’re caught by the police.
Underage drinking comes with harsh penalties. Drivers under the age of 21 can face significant issues such as the loss of their licenses or even time in jail in some cases.
Underage drinking comes with consequences in Texas
Underage drinking has serious consequences. There are also consequences for those who buy, possess, attempt to buy or drink under the age of 21. Some of the penalties that you could face include:
- Between eight and 40 hours of community service
- Losing your license for between 30 and 180 days
- Being ordered to attend an alcohol awareness class
- Being convicted of a Class C misdemeanor
- Being fined up to $500
The penalties get more severe the more times you commit an offense. For those who are at least 17, a third offense can be penalized with up to 180 days in jail and fines of up to $2,000. Third offenses also lead to an automatic license suspension. Minors who have any kind of previous alcohol-related conviction will also need to go to alcohol awareness training or lose their license for a year.
Texas’s zero tolerance law
Texas has a zero tolerance law. Those who are under 21 may not operate any vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. Doing this may lead to a class C misdemeanor conviction. First offenses also have penalties including up to 40 hours of community service, required alcohol awareness classes and a license suspension of up to 60 days.
Parents should know that these offenses are serious and will remain on their child’s record. If your child is facing allegations of drinking and driving, one of the best things you can do is to start to focus on how your child can defend themselves. A strong defense may help minimize the penalties they face or have the entire charge dropped, depending on the circumstances leading up to the arrest.