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Texas penalties for MIPs and underage DWI

It's no secret that drinking is a major part of college culture. Many students choose to partake in it. However, underage drinking and underage drinking and driving do not come without consequences. In fact, police in Bryan, College Station and elsewhere in Texas take crimes related to underage drinking very seriously.

Penalties for minor in possession

In Texas, it is illegal to possess alcohol if you are under the age of 21, and it doesn't matter how much or how little you have in your possession. The penalties for being caught with alcohol as a minor are severe:

  • Your license may be suspended for 30 to 180 days.
  • You may be required to take alcohol-awareness courses.
  • You may be ordered to pay up to $500 in fines.
  • You may have to complete anywhere from eight to 40 hours of community service.

The penalties for underage drinking get worse for those who are 17 or older. They could face fines amounting up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

Penalties for underage DWI

The legal blood-alcohol content limit in Texas is 0.08 for drivers who are 21 or older. For drivers under 21, however, any detectable amount of alcohol in your system could lead to underage DWI charges.

The penalties for underage DWI depend on both the age of the driver and their blood-alcohol content. Those who are 17 or older and have a blood-alcohol content of at least 0.08 face the following consequences:

  • At least three days in jail and up to 180 days in jail
  • As much as $2,000 in fines
  • A minimum 90-day license suspension and up to a one-year suspension

Those who have a blood-alcohol content that is below 0.08 may face these penalties:

  • Fines of up to $500
  • Up to 40 hours of community service
  • 60-day suspension of your driver's license
  • Alcohol-awareness courses

What if it's not your first DWI or MIP?

In Texas, the penalties for underage DWI or underage drinking increase with frequency. If you have been convicted before, you will likely face harsher consequences.

How to protect yourself from the penalties

The best way to protect yourself or your child from the consequences of an underage drinking charge is to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney who has experience handling underage DWI and underage drinking cases will know how the process works and how to give you a strong chance at minimizing or eliminating the consequences.

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