Are There Different BAC Limits for Underage Drivers in Texas?

person opening a beer while driving

Despite the precautions to prevent those under 21 from consuming alcohol, many find ways around this to drink. Whether this is an act of teenage rebellion or peer pressure, it can be dangerous. Unfortunately, the risk significantly increases when an intoxicated teenager or young adult gets behind the wheel of a car. The penalties for underage DWIs in Texas are severe, and many do not realize that there is a different BAC limit for those under 21. If you’re unfamiliar with these charges, it’s imperative to keep reading to learn more about the penalties and how Houston DWI attorneys can help you through these challenging times.

What Is the BAC Limit for Someone Under 21 in Texas?

Across the United States, anyone with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at or over 0.08% can face a drunk driving charge. It’s also important to note that a driver with a BAC of less than 0.08% can still face charges if there is alcohol in their system and the officer believes it inhibits their ability to operate a vehicle.

If someone under the age of 21 is found operating a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system in Texas, they will face a DUI. This is because Texas is a zero-tolerance policy state. As such, they will face a Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor (DUIA by a Minor) charge.

What Penalties Will This Driver Face?

When pulled over by an officer for drunk driving, your car will be towed and you will be taken to the police station for a breathalyzer test. If the results indicate that you have alcohol in your system as a minor under 21, and it is your first offense, the results can be severe. As such, you will face a Class B misdemeanor, meaning you can expect license suspension for sixty days, community service hours, and a fine of up to $500. If you have a BAC over 0.08% and are between 17 and 21, the penalties increase. As such, you can expect a minimum of three days in jail, a license suspension for up to one year, and a $2,000 fine.

What Can I Do if I’m Facing Charges Related to the Zero-Tolerance Policy?

If you are under 21 and were caught with alcohol in your system while driving, it’s imperative to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Failure to consult legal representation can result in unfavorable outcomes for your circumstance.

In the event you are arrested, you should not speak to the police. Anything you say can be held against you in a court of law, so it’s in your best interest to remain silent until you’ve consulted an attorney.

If you’re in legal trouble, the Gonzalez Law Group can help. We understand how complex the legal system can be, so we’re here to help you through this process. Additionally, we will fight for the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.