You are here: Home content DWI & Minors

DWI & Minors

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI)

Minors Charged With DWI

License Revocation Hearings For Minors

Minor Offenses & Penalties

 

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI)

A minor commits an offense if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor's system. DUI is a Class C Misdemeanor.

  • A minor is anyone under 21 years of age.

Can a minor be arrested for DUI?

A minor who is aged 17 to 21 can be arrested for DUI and taken to the county jail. The minor will sit in jail until a magistrate sets their bond. Generally, however, if a parent or guardian can be located by the law enforcement officer he or she will not arrest the minor, but allow the parent to come and get the minor. The minor in that situation will be given a ticket and a summons for court.

Can a minor be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)?

A minor (17 to 21 years of age) or a juvenile (10 to 16 years old) may be charged with DWI.

Can a minor be arrested for DWI?

A minor (17 to 21 years of age) can be arrested for DWI and taken to the county jail. The minor will sit in jail until a magistrate sets their bond.

A juvenile (10 to 16 years of age) cannot be arrested and taken to the county jail for a DWI. However, a juvenile can be detained and taken to the county juvenile detention facility where they will remain until they see the magistrate.

Can a minor refuse to perform field sobriety tests?

A minor may refuse to perform field sobriety tests. Many people are unable to do well on the tests because they are nervous, uncoordinated, ill, or suffer from an injury.

Can a minor refuse a blood or breath alcohol test?

There are consequences to refusing to take the test. The government attorney can use the minor’s refusal against them during their trial. Further, DPS may suspend the minor’s driver’s license longer than if they had taken the test. Regardless of these potential consequences of the giving of a breath or blood sample, the test essentially gives the Government more evidence to use to convict a citizen of DUI or DWI.

The implied consent law applies to minors. However, a minor can refuse to take the test.

There are consequences to refusing to take the test. The government attorney can use the minor’s refusal against them during their trial. Further, DPS may suspend the minor’s driver’s license longer than if they had taken the test.  Regardless of these potential consequences of the giving of a breath or blood sample, the test essentially gives the Government more evidence to use to convict a citizen of DUI or DWI.

Is a minor entitled to an ALR hearing?

A minor is entitled to an ALR hearing. The minor must request the hearing within 15 days of receiving written notice or their license will be automatically suspended.

What is the government’s burden of proof at the ALR hearing?

In a Breath/Blood Alcohol Test Refusal Case the State must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:

  • The law enforcement officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the minor or probable cause to arrest the minor;
  • The law enforcement officer had probable cause that the minor operated a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated or operating a watercraft powered with an engine having a manufacturer’s rating of 50 horsepower or above while intoxicated;
  • You were placed under arrest and the law enforcement officer offered the minor an opportunity to provide a specimen of breath or blood under the provisions of Tex. Trans. Code Ann. Ch. 724; and
  • The minor refused to provide a specimen on request of the officer.

In a Breath/Blood Alcohol Test Failure Case the State must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:

  • You had an alcohol concentration of a level specified in Section 49.01 Texas Penal Code, while operating a motor vehicle in a public place; and
  • The law enforcement officer had reasonable suspicion to stop you or probable cause to arrest or take you into custody existed.
  • The State may also use the DUI standards to suspend a minor’s driver’s license. In those cases the State must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:
  • The defendant was a minor and had any detectable amount of alcohol in his/her system while operating a motor vehicle in a public place; and
  • Reasonable suspicion to stop the minor or probable cause to arrest or take the minor into custody existed.

What are the lengths of suspension for a minor’s driver’s license?

If the minor refused to provide a specimen following an arrest for an offense prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle or watercraft while intoxicated, while under the influence of alcohol, or while under the influence of a controlled substance, the suspensions are as follows:

180 day suspension - First Offense

2 year suspension - If previously suspended for failing or refusing a specimen test or previously suspended for a DWI, Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter conviction during the 10 years preceding the date of arrest.

If the minor provided a blood or breath specimen with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 (or any detectable amount of alcohol) or was not requested to provide a specimen following an arrest for an offense under Section 106.041 Alcoholic Beverage Code or Sections 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, involving the operation of a motor vehicle, the suspensions are as follows:

60 day suspension - First Offense

120 day suspension

If previously convicted of an offense under Section 106.041, Alcoholic Beverage Code or Sections 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08 Penal Code, involving the operation of a motor vehicle.

180 day suspension

If previously convicted twice or more of an offense under Section 106.041 Alcoholic Beverage Code or Sections 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, involving the operation of a motor vehicle.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

A minor commits an offense if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor's system. DUI is a Class C Misdemeanor.

Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

A minor commits an offense if he possesses an alcoholic beverage. Minor in Possession is a Class C Misdemeanor.

It is not an offense for a minor to possess an alcoholic beverage:

  • While in the course and scope of the minor's employment if the minor is an employee of a licensee or permittee and the employment is not prohibited by Texas law; or
  • If the minor is in the visible presence of his or her adult parent, guardian, or spouse, or other adult to whom the minor has been committed by a court; or
  • If the minor is under the immediate supervision of a commissioned peace officer engaged in enforcing the provisions of the Alcohol and Beverage Code.

Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

If a minor consumes an alcoholic beverage it is a Class C Misdemeanor unless the minor consumed the alcoholic beverage in the visible presence of the minor's adult parent, guardian, or spouse.

Public Intoxication

A minor commits an offense in the minor appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the minor may endanger himself or another person.

Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor

A minor commits an offense if the minor purchases an alcoholic beverage. A minor does not commit an offense if the minor purchases an alcoholic beverage under the immediate supervision of a commissioned peace officer engaged in enforcing the provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Code.

Attempt to Purchase Alcohol by a Minor

A minor commits an offense if, with specific intent to commit to purchase an alcoholic beverage, the minor does an act amounting to more than mere preparation that tends but fails to effect the commission of the offense intended.

Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor

A minor commits an offense if he falsely states that he is 21 years of age or older or presents any document that indicates he is 21 years of age or older to a person engaged in selling or serving alcoholic beverages.

Punishment for Alcohol-Related Offenses by Minors

First Offense

•  Fine up to $500.00

•  8 to 12 hours Community Service

•  Driver’s License Suspension for 30 days

•  Completion of an Alcohol Awareness Course

Second Offense

•  Fine up to $500.00

•  20 to 40 hours Community Service

•  Driver’s License Suspension for 60 days

•  Completion of an Alcohol Awareness Course

Third Offense

•  Fine of $250.00 to $2000.00

•  Up to 180 days in jail

•  Driver’s License Suspension for 180 days

Can Minors expunge alcohol related offenses?

First Offense

A minor is eligible for deferred disposition. If the minor completes the deferred disposition successfully, the conviction may be expunged once the minor turns 21 years of age so long as the minor has no other convictions of the Alcoholic Beverage Code.

Second Offense

A minor is eligible for deferred adjudication, however, the conviction may not be expunged from the minor’s record.

Third Offense
The minor is not eligible for deferred adjudication and the conviction may not be expunged from the minor’s record.

Montgomery County, TX DWI Help
DWI Home
TX DWI Attorney Profile
Contact Us
Fees and Payment Plans
Case Results
TX DWI Laws & Penalties
TX DWI Defenses & Winning Techniques
The High Cost of a Texas DWI Conviction
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
Breath Test
Blood Test
License Revocation Hearings
Occupational Driver's License
DWI & Minors in Texas
Request a FREE DWI Attorney Consultation with Montgomery County, TX DWI Lawyer Doug Atkinson
(*)
(*)
(*)
(*)
(*)
(*)
(*)
(Required)