Driving Under the Influence

The Law

A minor commits an offense if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a public place while having ANY detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system. Driving under the influence is a crime specifically enacted for individuals under the age of 21. Minors are not supposed to have any alcohol in their system without some sort of guardian in their presence (see <Minor in Consumption> and <Minor in Possession>); therefore, under the laws of Texas, no minor should ever drive with alcohol in their system.


If you are a minor and have been caught driving under the influence, the punishment for a first time offender is a <class C misdemeanor>. Additional punishments for driving under the influence include alcohol awareness courses and community service. If you have prior alcohol related charges, the punishment can be more severe. For the offense of driving under the influence, prior convictions are BOTH convictions where you are found guilty and orders of deferred adjudication

A minor who has no more than ONE alcohol related offense under the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code may apply to the court they were convicted from to have the charge expunged (removed in its entirety) from their record. If you have received more than one charge, you are no longer capable of the expungement procedure provided by the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code.


If you have received a citation for DUI, a commissioned peace officer has claimed that you were operating a motor vehicle with a detectable amount of alcohol. The primary defense is that the minor had not been consuming alcohol and therefore was not driving under the influence.  A minor is still capable of receiving the more severe charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI). As a minor, do not consume or possess alcohol, and especially, do not drive after consuming ANY amount of alcohol. Additionally, do not drive even if you have had alcohol spilled on you. The prosecutor (State of Texas) has the burden to prove that you were operating a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol beyond a reasonable doubt.


The exact language of this law, further details, and additional punishment concerns can be found in section 106.041 of the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code. None of this information can take place of the information, knowledge, and expertise provided from a licensed attorney.



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