If you are under the age of 21 years old, you are not legally allowed to consume any alcoholic beverages. The only time you are allowed to consume alcoholic beverages as a minor is:
- While you are in the visible presence of your parent(s), guardian, spouse, or other adult to whom you have been committed by a court
A commissioned peace officer does not just have to see the minor consuming, but they can also give a citation to a minor if they have alcohol in their system. This means that if an individual is drinking with a parent, guardian, spouse, or other adult to whom they have been committed by a court, the minor cannot leave the presence of them until the alcohol is out of their system. See <Minor in Consumption> and <Driving Under the Influence> for other common offenses.
If you are a minor and have been charged with the consumption of alcohol, the punishment for a first time offender is a <class C misdemeanor>. Additional punishments for minors in consumption include alcohol awareness courses, community service, and driver’s license suspension. If you have prior alcohol related charges, the offense can be more severe. Prior convictions are BOTH convictions where you are found guilty and orders of deferred adjudication. Additionally, the Department of Transportation could suspend your driver’s license anywhere from 30 days to 180 days depending on how many convictions a minor has had for an age related alcohol offense.
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 expungment procedure provided by the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code.
If you have received a citation for MIC, a commissioned peace officer has claimed that you were consuming alcohol. If you are merely around alcohol, you have not consumed alcohol and our not in violation of the law on minors consuming alcohol. The prosecutor (State of Texas) has the burden to prove that you were consuming alcohol beyond a reasonable doubt.
The exact language of this law, further details, and additional punishment concerns can be found in section 106.04 of the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code. None of this information can take place of the information, knowledge, and expertise provided by a licensed attorney.