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Minors Charged With DWI

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?

Texas has an implied consent law which means that if you applied for and received a Texas driver’s license you agreed to take a breath or blood alcohol test if arrested for DWI or other alcohol related offense. 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 giving a breath or blood test essentially gives the Government more evidence to attempt to convict a citizen of DUI or DWI. 

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