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What Are the Most Common Alcohol-Related Offenses Committed By Minors?

Posted on in DWI

Pleasanton DWI defense attorney

Underage drinking is a common occurrence across the United States. With kids starting college before turning 21, it can seem as if the legal drinking age becomes irrelevant as students move away from home to start their college careers. Movies and television shows attempt to normalize underage drinking, and although teens may buy into it, law enforcement does not. Minors can receive various criminal charges if they consume alcohol. These young adults may not recognize the severity of such offenses and how they can alter their future. Teaching your child about the possible charges that they can face for underage drinking and understanding the legal consequences is often the best way to deter them from consuming alcohol at a young age.

Common Offenses

When someone thinks of the various types of charges related to alcohol, drinking while underage and driving while intoxicated are often the two charges that come to mind. What many minors do not realize is that depending on the situation, they could face multiple charges at once for simply drinking a beer. The following are common offenses recognized by the Texas Department of Public Safety:

  1. DWI for Minors: Driving while intoxicated is one of the most serious charges anyone can receive in Texas. Not only is the driver putting himself or herself at risk, but this reckless behavior also places everyone else on the road in danger. For those under the age of 21, receiving a DWI can be more damaging. Minors who receive this charge are breaking two laws—the underage consumption of alcohol and getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

  2. Purchase or Attempt to Purchase Alcohol: It is not uncommon for teens to test the waters and attempt to participate in certain activities before they are legally allowed to do so. When kids believe that they “look 21,” they often seek out stores that are known for not asking to see a valid ID and attempt to purchase alcohol. Even if the sale does not go through, the attempt to purchase alcohol is also considered a crime.

  3. Possession and Consumption of Alcohol: These are two separate charges that minors can receive. Even if a minor is not drinking alcohol at the moment, it is still considered a crime to be in possession of alcohol. In other words, if he or she is found with a beer in a vehicle but has not opened it or taken a single sip, he or she can still face criminal charges.

  4. Misrepresentation of Age: This is a common occurrence in college towns—students may purchase fake IDs to get into bars and purchase alcohol. If a minor is found with a fake ID, law enforcement will confiscate it, and he or she may also face criminal charges.

What Are the Consequences?

Receiving a DWI is the most serious charge related to alcohol that a minor can receive. If convicted of the charge, minors will face a one-year suspension of their driver’s license, they must obtain a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate from their insurance company, and they also must pay a $100 reinstatement fee. Many courts will also require the minor to attend driving school. The other charges mentioned above all have the same consequences: For a first offense, the minor can receive a 30-day license suspension. A second offense can result in a 60-day suspension, and a third offense can result in a 180-day suspension.

Call a Wilson County Criminal Defense Lawyer

With a media culture that supports and encourages underage drinking, it can seem as if such charges are insignificant. However, charges tied to underage drinking are often the start of a criminal record that can affect a person's life for years to come. Our BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys have handled numerous juvenile cases as well as DWI cases for adults and minors throughout the state of Texas. We have over 40 years of experience in criminal law, and we are prepared to help you fight any charges that you may be facing. If you are a minor facing alcohol charges, contact our diligent Floresville DWI defense attorneys at 830-769-1010 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.dps.texas.gov/driverlicense/alcoholrelatedoffenses.htm

https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/documents/DL-20.pdf

https://www.txdot.gov/driver/sober-safe/underage-drinking.html

 

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