Underage Drinking in Texas – DUI v. DWI

Underage drinking is prevalent in Texas.  A charge of underage drinking can be serious enough on its own, but when it is combined with driving under the influence, the consequences can be severe for a young adult looking to go to college and obtain employment.  Not all Texas citizens are aware of the differences between the offense of driving under the influence (DUI) and the offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI).

A DUI charge in Texas occurs when an individual under the age of 21 is driving while under the influence of alcohol.  What’s significant about this charge is that Texas is stricter for minors in this regard.  The legal limit in Texas is .08, but if you are a minor and driving under the influence of alcohol, you can be charged with a DUI for having even a slight detectable amount of alcohol in your system.  This is a zero-tolerance policy to deter minors from drinking and driving.

A DWI charge in Texas applies to both minors and individuals 21 years of age and older.  With a DWI, your blood alcohol content (BAC) must be above the legal limit of .08.  Therefore, regardless of your age, if you are legally intoxicated by having a BAC beyond the legal limit, or are under the influence of drugs, you are subject to the same consequences, which are more severe than those for a DUI charge.  Minors should be especially mindful of the severity of DUI DWI charges.

The Consequences of Being Convicted of a DUI and/or DWI Offense

If you are convicted of a DUI or DWI, you are certainly at risk for having your driver’s license suspended.  For a DUI, the suspension period is typically shorter than for a DWI, however, if you have had more than one offense, the suspension period may be substantially longer and you may lose your driver’s license for up to one year or even longer.  Further, a DWI conviction carries with it large fines and jail time.  The minimum jail sentence for a DWI offense is 72 hours.

Both DUI and DWI offenses carry with them consequences that can impede your ability to be in the military, obtains student loans or gain employment.  Especially in the case of minors and underage drinking, one small offense of having even a sip of alcohol that is detectable in the blood can ruin your chances of being a prosperous young adult.  Maybe you are a student athlete and have a scholarship to a college or university.  You are at risk for losing your scholarship for even one mishap.  Don’t take the risk of jeopardizing your future by drinking and driving.  You could be paying the consequences well into adulthood.

Contact a DUI/DWI Defense Attorney Today

Whether you have been charged with a DUI, DWI, or if you are simply curious about the potential consequences of either offense, contact an attorney experienced in the area of DUI/DWI defense.  There are many experienced criminal defense attorneys in Texas, but an attorney who has special knowledge of DUI/DWI law can help you fight the charges and get your life back on track.  Attorney Jack Pettit has represented thousands of clients charged with DUI’s and DWI’s.  Mr. Pettit will ensure that you are defended in the best way possible to minimize potential long-lasting consequences.  Contact Mr. Pettit today by calling 214-521-4567 to discuss your case.  Mr. Pettit can negotiate with the prosecutor to possibly get your charge reduced to prevent an uncertain future.  We offer bilingual services in English and Spanish.  We also accept major credit cards.

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