An underage DWI occurs whenever a driver who is under the age of 21 is found to have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit. The state of Texas has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving, which means that harsh sanctions can result from one of these offenses.
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Whenever a minor is charged with underage drinking and driving in Houston, he or she will be arrested and taken to the local county jail. The defendant will then be required to remain behind bars until a magistrate sets bond. If the juvenile is age 16 or younger, he or she will be taken to that county’s juvenile detention center instead.
The exact punishment will depend on the age of the person being arrested in Texas. Those who are between the ages of 18 and 21 face sanctions that can include:
Those who are under the age of 18 face the same sanctions; however, they could be required to have a parent or guardian attend alcohol abuse classes and be present at every court hearing as well. Both age groups may eventually become eligible for deferred adjudication, which would effectively allow the incident to be expunged from the record at a later date.
Underage drunk driving charges may be defended much in the same manner as adult infractions are in Houston, with some of the more common defenses being:
When preparing a defense, attorneys will look at the circumstances in order to determine whether or not a client’s rights have been violated, and then plan their strategy accordingly.
Courts tend to recognize that drunk driving under 21 is sometimes committed by juveniles who have simply made a bad decision. The key to ensuring that an underage drunk driving arrest has minimal impact is to consult with an attorney shortly after being charged with this offense.
If you have been accused of juvenile drinking and driving, then you need to seek legal counsel. Get a hold of Brett A. Podolsky today by calling 713-227-0087.