Experienced Denton Underage Drinking lawyer
Minors drinking in Texas have severe penalties, we fight to protect your teen’s future
Underage drinking continues to be a major problem. In fact, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission reports that nearly a quarter of students in fourth through sixth grades have tried alcohol, and about 63 percent of students in grades 7 through 12 have used alcohol. But in Texas, if these students are caught drinking, in possession of alcohol, or driving while under the influence of alcohol, the penalties can be costly.
A lot of people try alcohol before they are of legal age, and nearly everyone makes mistakes when they are young. But drinking underage in Texas can lead to consequences that can follow you for years – maybe even your whole life. The consequences can have a ripple effect, such as costing you admission to the right college, which costs you the job you want, and so on. Denton DUI lawyer, Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law, doesn’t believe you should have to pay so dearly. Attorney Bowen fights underage drinking charges to minimize your child’s penalties and keep their legal record clean.
What are the penalties for Minors drinking in Texas?
There are several laws that encompass underage drinking activity in Texas, and they carry different penalties.
It is a Class C misdemeanor if a minor is convicted of purchasing, attempting to purchase, consuming, or possessing any alcohol beverage. The penalties can include a fine of up to $500, a 30- to 180-day revocation or denial of your driver’s license, and an order to complete an alcohol awareness class and between eight and 40 hours of community service.
Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. That means that the legal blood-alcohol content allowed for drivers under the age of 21 is 0.00. If any amount of alcohol is detected in a person under 21 while they are driving a motor vehicle or any kind of watercraft, they can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. The penalties include a fine of up to $500, community service of 20 to 40 hours, suspension of the driver’s license for 60 days, and completion of an alcohol awareness class.
The punishments become more severe with each additional offense. That’s one reason why it is so important to work with an experienced Denton criminal lawyer to fight these charges and keep your record clean. Brent D. Bowen believes that all teens deserve a second chance and should not have their futures blemished for youthful indiscretions. He pursues every possible strategy and defense for removing or minimizing the charges.
Penalties for parents, too
The underage drinking laws in Texas do provide the caveat that minors can drink alcohol if they are in the presence of their parents or their spouse. They still can’t drink and drive, but they can possess and consume alcohol under supervision. Some parents may provide alcohol to their teens to try to keep them home and “safe,” instead of risking them engaging in dangerous practices to get alcohol or going to dangerous locations. However, any parents who knowingly provide alcohol to their underage children can be held liable if the drinking leads to personal injury or property damage.
Texas law holds parents liable if the underage person:
- Is injured or dies as a result of the drinking
- Has a serious fall, gets into a physical fight, or is sexually assaulted
- Damages someone’s property
- Leaves the premises and gets into a motor vehicle accident
Parents who are found guilty of these infractions can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $4,000, spend up to a year in jail, and have their license suspended for 180 days.
It is important to note that even if parents have the right to give their own minor children alcohol, they do not have the right to give it to another person’s child, even if they have that person’s permission. If parents provide alcohol to their own children, they must be present when it is consumed. Parents cannot hold parties where multiple children show up and drink alcohol.
Denton DUI lawyer Brent D. Bowen helps parents and teens charged in underage drinking violations clear their records or have the charges reduced. You were only trying to give your teens a safe space to explore alcohol and have fun with friends. Mr. Bowen fights to make sure the consequences for things going wrong as a result of that decision don’t follow you and your child forever.
Dedicated Denton DUI attorney fights to clear underage drinking charges to protect your child’s future
Your teenager may have made some bad decisions by trying to fit in with friends and using a fake ID to buy beer. Or, you may have tried to give your teen a safe space to drink at home, but then things got out of hand and ended in a fight. Whatever the reason, you or your child are now facing underage drinking charges. Call Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law, an experienced Denton criminal and DUI lawyer at 940-222-2488 or use the secure online form to schedule a consultation. Attorney Bowen is ready to protect your future.