Summer is officially in full swing, which means that children are out of school on summer vacation. Teenagers take advantage of summer to spend time with their friends and have a good time, but along with this freedom comes certain dangers that your teen might come across. If you have a child who is at least 16, then you are right to be concerned about drinking and driving during the summer time. Your child could potentially receive a DWI or DUIA charge if they drive while intoxicated.
What Happens If My Child Gets a DWI?
Texas has enacted alcohol “zero tolerance” regulations for drivers under the age of 21. If your child is an underage driver with any amount of alcohol in his or her system at the time he or she is pulled over, then he or she can be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA), whether they are actually intoxicated or not. The specific age also matters in Texas:
- Under 17 years of age. If your child under 17 receives a DUIA in Texas, the offense is classified as a Class C misdemeanor. A first conviction can carry a fine of up to $500, a 60-day minimum license suspension and up to 40 hours of community service. An Alcohol Awareness Course is also required for the minor. Parents can also attend.
- Between 17 and 20 years of age. If your child is in between 17 and 20 years of age when they get pulled over for a DWI this summer, it is a Class B misdemeanor. This conviction can carry up to $2000 in fines, jail time for up to 180 days and a 1-year license suspension minimum.
Texas also has an implied consent law for underage drivers. Implied consent means that if your child is arrested for a DUIA, he or she must submit to a blood test or breathalyzer test in order to determine BAC levels. Refusal of these tests can result in jail time and/or a driver’s license suspension. If your child has been arrested for a DWI in Texas this summer, don’t hesitate to call the Goolsby Law Firm to get a free consultation.