Juvenile / Underage DWI
State law in Texas makes it illegal for any person less than 21 years of age to possess or consume alcoholic beverages, and all people are prohibited from driving operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, regardless of age. When a minor operates a motor vehicle while he or she is allegedly under the influence of alcoholic beverages, it can result in possible driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges—even if the minor’s alcohol concentration is less than the legal limit of 0.08.
All DWI charges carry serious consequences, but a conviction relating to drunk driving can be especially damaging for alleged offenders of such young ages. A DWI-related offense on a minor’s criminal record can jeopardize opportunities to be accepted to certain colleges or cause possible difficulties obtaining employment.
Attorney for Juvenile / Underage DWI Arrests in Conroe, TX
Were you or your child arrested anywhere in the greater Montgomery County area for an alleged drunk driving offense? You should avoid making any kind of statement to authorities until you have first contacted Evans & Powell, PLLC.
Conroe criminal defense lawyers Sean Evans and Frank Powell represent clients facing DWI charges in communities all over Montgomery County, including Oak Ridge North, Cut and Shoot, The Woodlands, Shenandoah, Panorama Village, Porter Heights, and many others. You can have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (936) 622-2000 to receive a free initial consultation.
Montgomery County Juvenile / Underage DWI Information Center
- What is the legal alcohol concentration limit for people under 21 years of age?
- How can minors be punished for these crimes?
- Where can I find more information about juvenile / underage DWI in Conroe?
Minors can be arrested for drunk driving offenses under one of two state laws. Texas Penal Code § 49.04 makes it illegal for any person to be intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
If a minor is deemed to not have the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body, or has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, he or she can be arrested for DWI. A first DWI offense is usually a Class B misdemeanor, although an alleged offender can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if he or she has an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater.
Even when a minor has an alcohol concentration of less than 0.08, he or she could still be charged with driving or operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol by a minor. Under Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.041, a minor commits this offense if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a public place, or a watercraft, while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor's system. Driving or operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol by a minor is a Class C misdemeanor.
When a minor is arrested for a traditional DWI offense in Texas, he or she faces the same consequences that adults face for the alleged crimes. A first DWI could be punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail, while a second DWI conviction can result in a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
Convictions for driving or operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol by a minor, on the other hand, are generally punishable as follows:
- First Offense — Fine of up to $500, minimum of 20 hours up to 40 hours of community service, and/or mandatory alcohol awareness classes;
- Second Offense — Fine of up to $500, minimum of 40 hours up to 60 hours of community service, and/or mandatory alcohol awareness classes; and
- Third or Subsequent Offense — Fine of up to $2,000, minimum of 20 hours up to 40 hours of community service, and/or up to 180 days in jail.
Minors will also have their driver’s licenses automatically suspended for either type of drunk driving arrest. Alleged offenders in these cases only have 15 days to request Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearings to contest their suspensions.
Prior convictions and an alleged offender’s compliance with breath, blood, or urine testing requests determine the length of any possible suspension. If an alleged offender provided a specimen, a first offense results in a minimum suspension of 60 days, a second offense results in a minimum suspension of 120 days, and a third or subsequent offense results in a minimum suspension of 180 days. A first refusal to provide a specimen results in a minimum suspension of 180 days and any second or subsequent refusal results in a minimum suspension of two years.
Substance Abuse Services | Tri-County Services — Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare is a Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation (MHMR) center serving Montgomery County, Liberty County, and Walker County. Its mission is “to enhance the quality of life for those we serve and our communities by ensuring the provision of quality services for individuals with mental illness, substance abuse disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.” Visit this website to learn more about some of the substance abuse services offered by Tri-County Behavioral, including youth outpatient treatment.
Conroe Service Center
233 Sgt. Ed Holcomb Blvd. S.
Conroe, TX 77304
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) | Alcohol Education Program for Minors — Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.041 establishes that courts shall require alleged offenders placed on deferred disposition for driving or operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol by a minor attend an alcohol awareness program approved by the DSHS. If a department approved course is not available, the court will require the alleged offender to perform up to 12 hours of community service, and failure to complete either the alcohol awareness course or community service within 90 days of a conviction will result in a license suspension of up to six months. Visit this website to access applications and forms relating to these programs.
Evans & Powell, PLLC | Conroe Juvenile / Underage DWI Defense Lawyer
If you or your child were arrested for allegedly drinking and driving anywhere in Montgomery County, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Evans & Powell, PLLC defends minors accused of these offenses in Woodbranch, Patton Village, Pinehurst, Splendora, Magnolia, Willis, and many surrounding areas of Montgomery County.
Sean Evans and Frank Powell are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Conroe who will help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case, including possible deferred adjudication or complete dismissal of the criminal charges. Call (936) 622-2000 or fill out an online contact form to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.