Underage Drivers Under the Influence
It is well known that underage partiers are frequently faced with with minor in consumption (MIC) or minor in possession (MIP) charges, but there are also guidelines set for those minors who choose to take their party on the road. DUI laws vary from state to state, and the State of Texas hold very specific laws for drivers who can be charges with driving under the influence of alcohol by minor.
What is Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor?
Driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor makes it illegal for any person under the age of 21 to be operating a motor vehicle in a public place with any trace of alcohol in their system. This is known as a “zero tolerance” policy. In this case, minor is seen as anyone under the legal drinking age, which is 21. Furthermore, motor vehicles can include cars, trucks, scooters, and motorcycles. A public place is defined as any public road or on any public property.
Texas has a “zero tolerance” policy because minors are by law not allowed to consume alcohol, and therefore should not be driving under the influence. The state takes this very seriously.
Punishments for Underage DUIs
The legal repercussions for a DUI vary depending on the record of the offender. For minors who are charged with their first driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor, the offense counts as a class C misdemeanor and usually requires community service and probation.
For minors who have previously been found guilty of driving under the influence, there is at minimum a larger community service requirement. However, for those who are under 21 but over the age of 18 (in other words, not a child), the punishment for multiple offenders is more severe. Typically, for those adults under legal drinking age who have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol previously, the sentence will consist of jail time, a fine, or both.
For More Information
With any substance abuse, there are stricter guidelines for those who are underage. As can be seen above, this is certainly the case with minors accused of operating a motorized vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Because of this it is important that those accused of this violation know their rights and responsibilities.