Texas has strict laws pertaining to offenses involving alcohol and drugs. The laws are especially serious when a juvenile is found to be in violation of them. These laws are meant to encourage people not to engage in certain criminal activities. You should know what these crimes entail and the penalties you can receive if you’re found guilty of them.
What are the zero-tolerance laws in Texas?
Texas has a strict zero-tolerance law that makes it illegal for a person driving with any blood alcohol concentration higher than .08. If a person is under 21 years old and is found to have any amount of alcohol in their system, they can be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. However, the law goes further than that as individuals under 21 can also be charged if they buy alcohol or try to buy it while using a fake ID.
Minors who are found to be intoxicated can also be arrested if they are found to be operating a vehicle other than a car, such as a boat. They can face serious penalties if found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Juvenile drug cases are considered very serious in Texas. Minors can even face penalties if they are intoxicated but not operating a vehicle.
What are the penalties for zero-tolerance offenses?
Juvenile drug cases and cases involving minors and alcohol intoxication carry very serious penalties. For offenses that don’t involve driving, the penalties can include the following:
• Fines ranging from $250 to up to $2,000.
• Being ordered into an alcohol awareness course.
• Suspension of driver’s license for 30 days if it’s a first offense.
• Suspension of driver’s license for 60 days if it’s a second offense.
• Suspension of driver’s license for 180 days if it’s a third offense.
• Community service ordered by the court.
For minors who do not have a driver’s license, driving privileges are prohibited for the same length of time as if they had one that would be suspended.
Reasonable suspicion by a police officer
When a police officer has reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence, they can pull over a minor driving a vehicle. They can legally request the individual submit to a breath test or field sobriety test. If the officer detects alcohol on the minor’s breath, they can make an arrest and make them take a blood test.