Drinking and driving at any age carries risks but can be particularly detrimental for someone under 21. If your teenager is arrested for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), unforeseen consequences can negatively impact any plans they have made for their future.
As a parent, it’s essential to understand the gravity of your teen’s DWI so you can provide guidance and support.
It’s more than just legal consequences
Texas has zero tolerance for minors who drink and drive. Furthermore, a juvenile can be charged the same as an adult for drug and alcohol offenses. That means that if your teenager is convicted, they may face the following for their first offense:
- Up to $500 fine
- Driver’s license suspension for 60 days
- Community service
- Alcohol-awareness classes
If your child is between 17-21 and they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, a conviction may result in:
- Up to a $2,000 fine
- 72 hours to 180 days in jail
- Driver’s license suspension for 90 days to a year
Any subsequent offenses will result in harsher charges, including up to a $10,000 fine, imprisonment and loss of license for two years.
An underage DWI can also affect your teenager’s future, such as:
- Loss of scholarship or expulsion, if they’re in college
- Denied college admissions or ineligible for scholarships, if they’re in high school
- Difficulty in securing a job or housing
- Increased insurance premiums
Being charged with a DWI can be overwhelming and frightening for parents and teenagers alike. However, it is important to understand the possible consequences. Seeking assistance in navigating the legal process is imperative. Working with someone who understands Texas’ Juvenile Justice System may lead to the best possible outcome for your child.