Consequences Of Underage DWI
If your underage child has been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, they face serious consequences. If convicted, they face fines, the loss of their license, and the negative impact of having a criminal record at a young age.
A guilty verdict can result in the loss of college admission, scholarships, job opportunities, relationships, and more. Here’s how you can help your child defend themselves against underage DWI charges.
Zero-Tolerance for Underage Drinking and Driving in Texas
Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving, meaning that if there is any alcohol in the driver’s system or even on their breath, the officer can make an arrest.
Penalties for a Class C Misdemeanor
Underage DWI is charged as a class C misdemeanor, which carries the following penalties:
- Fine of up to $500
- License suspension
- Community service
- Mandatory drug and/or alcohol counseling
If your child caused an accident that resulted in the injury or death of someone else, they may face additional charges, such as reckless driving or manslaughter. Rarely will an underage DWI be charged alone; even if the stop was routine, your child will likely also face a traffic or open container violation.
Potential Defenses Against Underage DWI
Depending on the circumstances of your child’s case, there may be potential defense strategies that can increase the chances you’ll receive a favorable outcome. For example, your criminal defense attorney may be able to argue that:
- The breathalyzer equipment used to test your child’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level was faulty or improperly calibrated, and therefore the results cannot be considered accurate or reliable
- The officer who stopped you did not accurately administer breath or field sobriety testing, and therefore the results cannot be considered accurate or reliable
- The officer did not have probable cause to stop your child’s vehicle in the first place (e.g., your child wasn’t speeding, swerving, or displaying any driving behavior that indicated the need for a traffic stop)
- There was another reason for failed field sobriety tests, such as a medical condition
Get Help from an Experienced DWI Defense Attorney Today
Segura and Kiatta understand how challenging it can be for young adults to start their lives with a criminal record, and how difficult it is for their parents to watch. Segura and Kiatta can help you fight for your child’s rights and best interests, and work towards a clean record and rehabilitation. Call now for your consultation at 281.240.3941.