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Consequences for underage DWI in Texas

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2024 | Drunk Driving |

If your underage child gets a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Texas, the consequences can be severe, but jail time is not always the immediate outcome. If the police arrest your child for a DWI, it is important to understand the potential consequences they will face. 

Legal consequences

In Texas, authorities can charge anyone under 21 driving with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system with a DWI. For a first offense, the penalties might include fines up to $500, mandatory alcohol education classes, community service, and a driver’s license suspension. These penalties aim to educate and rehabilitate rather than incarcerate.

Zero-tolerance approach

The state takes a zero-tolerance approach towards underage drinking and driving, emphasizing the importance of early intervention to prevent future offenses. The mandatory alcohol education classes aim to increase awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and its long-term consequences on individuals and communities.

Juvenile detention

Authorities might take an underage driver who is a minor to a juvenile detention center rather than an adult jail. The length of stay depends on the case’s specifics and whether the minor has prior offenses. Repeat offenders or cases involving accidents or injuries may face harsher penalties, including longer detention periods.

Additional consequences

Aside from legal penalties, an underage DWI can have other lasting impacts. It can affect their ability to obtain a driver’s license in the future and might result in increased insurance premiums. Additionally, a DWI conviction can impact educational and employment opportunities, as it remains on their record.

Addressing the issue

It’s essential to address the issue promptly if your underage child faces a DWI charge. Seeking legal advice and ensuring they understand the seriousness of their actions can help prevent future offenses.