DWI Under the Age of 21
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious enough offense in Texas, but when you add in an offender who is under 21, the stakes on the person’s future are even higher. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to juvenile DWI, which means that no traceable amount of alcohol or drugs is allowed in the person’s system if they are a minor.
When it comes to a person under 21 and DWI – there is no such thing as a legal limit. Calling an experienced Georgetown DWI defense attorney to fight the under 21 DWI charge could help better protect you or your child’s future.
Georgetown Underage DWI Defense Attorney
Michael J. Price is a qualified criminal defense attorney who focuses on DWI defense. With extensive experience serving Central Texas, Michael J. Price will fight hard to protect the rights and the future of you or your child against an Underage DWI charge.
To find out more about how an experienced DWI defense attorney at Law Office of Michael J. Price can help your Williamson County or Bell County Juvenile DUI case, call us today at (512) 354-1880. Your first consultation is free, so call now.
Williamson County Juvenile DWI and Penalties
Usually, the legal limit for a per se DWI in Texas is .08 or an individual can be charged with DWI if their faculties are impaired. For minors, however, there is no legal limit. Any detectable amount of alcohol on a person under 21 who is operating a motor vehicle or watercraft is considered grounds for a DWI charge, with or without impairment. For the purpose of DWI law, a minor is anyone under 21 – though minors under 18 can only be charged with Juvenile DWI while individuals 18-21 can be charged according to the adult standards.
Generally, a Juvenile DWI is punishable as a Class C Misdemeanor in Texas. This usually results in a fine of $500 or less. Additionally, the minor will be required to complete 20 to 40 community service hours and an alcohol awareness class approved by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse within 90 days of the conviction. If the DWI offender is under 18, his or her parents may be required to complete the class along with the convicted individual.
However, with two prior underage DWIs, a minor can receive up to 180 days of prison and/or probation time and a fine of $500 to $2,000. In this case, the community service hours are upped to 40-60 hours in a setting that must be related to prevention of or education about alcohol misuse. The juvenile DWI offender may also be required to attend the alcohol awareness class.
DWI Under the Age of 21 License Suspensions in Georgetown
Once a minor is convicted of DWI, his or her license will automatically be suspended for one year. For a first offense, a civil penalty of 60 days will be added to the one-year criminal suspension.
This administrative license suspension period increases to 120 days for one DWI-related prior, and 180 days for two of more DWI-related priors. If the minor refuses to submit to chemical testing, an additional penalty of 180 days’ suspension will be added.
Williamson County Alternative Programs for Underage DWI
In Texas, there are alternatives to prosecution available to underage DWI offenders and largely regulated county-by-county. These programs are mainly for low-risk offenders who would benefit from more of a rehabilitative than punitive approach. Offenders who have two or more juvenile DWI offenses are not eligible for these programs. Your Georgetown DWI defense lawyer can help you determine what programs you might be eligible for. These programs vary by district, but generally include:
- For Class A or Class B misdemeanors
- Low-risk, first-time offenders
- Involves requirements like counseling, community service, and restitution
- For Class C misdemeanors
- Voluntary program
- Requires community service and involvement in the judicial process
- Citation dismissed after participation
Law Office of Michael J. Price | Juvenile DWI Defense Lawyer in Williamson County
If you or your child has been charged with DWI under the age of 21 in Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Killeen, Temple, Leander, Taylor, Hutto, or the surrounding communities – your future doesn’t have to be ruined. Contact the experienced Georgetown criminal defense attorneys at Law Office of Michael J. Price today.
We will fight against the charges or otherwise seek a more favorable outcome in you or your child’s underage DWI case in Texas. Call (512) 354-1880 today to schedule your free initial consultation.