According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, 38.9% of all drunk driving fatalities that occurred in 2014 in Texas were caused by drivers under 21. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of road fatalities, which is why penalties for underage DUI can be stricter than for those over 21. If you are underage and have been arrested for DUI, it is crucial you understand the consequences you could face. In this blog, our Houston DUI attorney explains what penalties you could face.
Texas is a zero tolerance state
If you are over 21, it is illegal to drive if your BAC is over .08%; however, Texas is considered a zero tolerance state. This means, if you are under 21, you could be charged with DUI if your BAC is over .00%. Drinking even one drink during the night and then getting behind the wheel could mean a DUI if you are underage.
Legal Penalties of Underage DUI
If you have been arrested for DUI, you could face the below penalties.
- Jail sentence of 3 to 180 days
- Fine of up to $2,000
- Suspended license for up to 90 days
- Jail sentence up to one year
- Fines of up to $4,000
- License suspension up to one year
In addition to the above penalties, underage drivers also face the possibility of further criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you could face:
- Child endangerment violations
- Minor in possession charges
- Distribution of alcohol to minors
- Soliciting alcohol
- Possession of false ID
- Other traffic violations
A DUI conviction will also cause your monthly insurance costs to increase. Many insurance companies will view an underage driver with a DUI conviction as too much of a risk and cancel the policy entirely, while others will raise your monthly insurance rates by $100 to $200 for three to five years following your DUI conviction. That’s an additional $12,000 in insurance costs over a period of five years!
If you were arrested for underage DUI, contacting a skilled Houston DUI lawyer to represent you is paramount to your success. The DUI process can be complicated and confusing, especially for those underage. At Tyler Flood & Associates, our dedicated team of legal professionals can work tirelessly to help you get the best possible outcome in your case.
Work with an award-winning legal team today. Call to schedule your free consultation.