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What happens when a minor gets a DWI charge?

| Oct 21, 2020 | Firm News

The legal age to purchase and use alcohol in Texas is 21 years old. Anyone under that age trying to buy alcohol or caught under its influence in a public area faces penalties. 

If you are under the age of 21 and an officer pulls you over for a suspected DWI, you will face automatic penalties, and the court may impose further sentencing upon conviction. 

License suspension

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, if you are under the age of 21 and the court convicts you of a DWI, it will suspend your license for one year. You will also face the potential for an automatic suspension of 180 days for refusing to take a breath test at the request of the officer who initially stopped you. 

If this is not your first DWI or alcohol-related defense, then you may face a suspension from the court for 18 months. The court can order that you install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and lower suspension time to 90 days. In that case, you would have to apply for restricted driver privileges 

Education program

The court may also order you to complete an alcohol education program. It is a 12-hour class. If you do not complete it, the court can add an additional 180 days to your license suspension and an additional fee for reinstatement. 

License reinstatement

To get your license back after a suspension, you must first wait out the entire suspension period. You will then need to pay a reinstatement fee and any other fees you owe. You will need to secure a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate as well from your insurance company. You must maintain this coverage for at least two years.