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Underage DWI

When an individual who is under the legal drinking age operates a vehicle with drugs or alcohol in his or her system, the individual can be charged with underage DWI. A conviction of this offense will be placed on the juvenile’s permanent criminal record and could limit his or her ability to pursue certain educational opportunities. If you or your loved one has been charged with underage DWI, it is critical that you hire a devoted Austin DWI attorney today.

Under 21 DWI Defense Attorney in Austin, Texas

Kevin Bennett of The Law Office of Kevin Bennett is a highly qualified DWI defense attorney who proudly serves clients who have been charged with underage DWI in Austin, Lago Vista, Travis County, Lakeway, Pflugerville, and the surrounding areas.

Having an under 21 DWI defense attorney who will work around the clock for you is vital at a time with so much at stake. Call Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options moving forward. Don’t wait another moment to secure your future and call Kevin Bennett for a qualified Austin underage 21 DWI defense attorney today.

Overview on Underage DWI in Texas

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Can a Minor Be Charged with DWI in Texas?

According to Texas law, a person of any age can be convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and that includes minors. A minor can definitely be charged with DWI in Texas if law enforcement has reasonable suspicion to do so. Whether you’re charged as an adult or juvenile will depend on your age during the time of the offense.

Motorists who are between the ages of 17 and 20 may face a class B misdemeanor. If convicted, offenders in this age group could face up to 180 days in jail. Minors who are under the age of 17, however, will be treated like juveniles and will be processed through juvenile court. Offenders under the age of 17 may face a class C misdemeanor, which can result in a $500 fine and a 60-day license suspension. However, juvenile court doesn’t rely on sentencing guidelines and your punishment may look different depending on your judge.

Zero Tolerance Laws in Texas

In Texas, it is against the law for an individual to operate a motor vehicle while he or she is intoxicated due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol.  According to the Texas Alcohol Beverage Code Ann. § 106.041, the state of Texas has a zero tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21.

The zero tolerance law means that there is no legal limit for the amount of alcohol that can be found in a minor’s system. Therefore, if a driver who is under the age of 21 operates a vehicle with any trace of alcohol in his or her system; he or she can be automatically arrested and charged with underage DWI.

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Penalties for Underage DWI in Austin

Underage DWI is usually considered a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500, as well as 20 to 40 hours of community service and a driver’s license suspension. In some cases, juveniles may be granted the opportunity to attend Teen Court. If the individual successfully completes the requirements handed down in Teen Court, he or she can avoid having the underage DWI charge placed on their criminal record.

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What is the Legal BAC for Someone Under 21 in Texas?

Texas, as all other states in the U.S., determines a person’s impairment level by their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Law enforcement can measure BAC in a multitude of ways involving scientific testing of a person’s breath, blood or urine sample. The legal limit that’s considered intoxicated in the state of Texas is .08 BAC and anyone having that BAC reading or above could be charged with DWI as a result.

Minors, however, face a different legal limit than adult motorists who are over the age of 21. Texas considers itself a zero-tolerance state, so that means if you’re under 21 have any trace amounts of alcohol in your system is enough to warrant a DWI arrest. Since having just one or two drinks can raise your BAC level slightly, that means you could be arrested for DWI even if you aren’t buzzed or drunk.

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License Suspension for Underage DWI

If a juvenile is convicted of driving while intoxicated, he or she will face an automatic driver’s license suspension for a year. According to Tex. Transp. Code § 724.035, when a minor refuses to submit to a DWI chemical test, he or she will be subjected to a license suspension for 180 for a first offense and two years for a second offense.

Anytime you are subjected to an administrative license suspension, you are entitled to a hearing to determine whether or not your suspension should be upheld. During the hearing, your defense attorney can point out mistakes made by law enforcement, violations of your rights, as well as any other reason why your arrest or suspension was unjustified.

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Additional Resources

Youth Offender Support Court | Travis County Court – Visit the official website for the Youthful Offender Support Court program. Access the site to learn the eligibility requirements, the application procedure, what the program offers for youthful offenders and more.

Under 21 DWI Laws in Texas – Visit the official website for the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn more about DWI laws in regards to minors. Access the site to read their brochure on arrest procedures for minors, implied consent laws, the penalties for juvenile DWI and more.

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Underage DWI Defense Lawyer in Travis County, TX

If you or a loved one is facing charges for underage DWI, hiring the right defense attorney to fight for your freedom is vital.  Kevin Bennett of The Law Office of Kevin Bennett aggressively defends clients in Travis County, Lakeway, Austin, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, and the surrounding areas in Texas who have been charged with underage DWI.

Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Travis County under 21 DWI attorney on your pending charges. Your initial consultation is free, and it will begin the process or preparing a defense that could preserve your freedom and future.

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