Texas has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving offenses committed by a minor child or young person under the age of 21. The Texas Legislature has created a separate offense for drinking and driving while under the age of 21 which is known as "Driving Under the Influence" (DUI) of Alcohol as a Minor (also called DUIA)
For the purposes of this offense, the term "minor" is defined as anyone under the age of 21 years old. Different procedures are used to prosecute these cases depending on whether the driver is under the age of 17 years old and prosecuted in juvenile court, or whether the young person is over the age of 17 and goes to adult court.
Because a person under 21 years old may not purchase, consume, or possess an alcoholic beverage, any minor driving with ANY detectable amount of alcohol i n their system while operating a motor vehicle on a public street, can be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor (DUIA by a Minor).
For the "DUI of Alcohol by a Minor" offense in Texas, the legal limit of .08 does not apply.
If you were stopped by a police officer who suspected you of driving a vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage because you had ANY detectable amount of alcohol in your system, then contact an experienced DUIA defense attorney in Fort Worth, TX.
We represent minors charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Fort Worth and throughout Tarrant County, TX. We understand the important differences between DWI and DUIA in Texas. We also know how these cases for DUIA are prosecuted in the courtrooms in Fort Worth, Arlington, and throughout Tarrant County, TX.
Call (817) 422-5350 to discuss your case today.
The first consideration in any DUIA case is whether the officer conducted a legal stop or detention. Before stopping your vehicle, the officer must have either reasonable suspicion or probable cause. If the officer believes you have any detectable amount of alcohol in your body, the officer can ask you to perform one or more field sobriety tests.
If the officer does not suspect you are driving while intoxicated (DWI) but nevertheless believes you have a detectable amount of alcohol in your system, then the officer can charge you with DUIA.
The charge will result in an arrest. You will be taken to the county jail and given an opportunity to submit to a breath test. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, you might be taken to the hospital where the officer will ask you to submit to a blood test.
A minor whose breath or blood specimen confirms the operation of a motor vehicle in a public place with ANY detectable amount of alcohol in their system will have their driver license suspended for:
If your driver's license was taken and an administrative suspension was triggered, you should request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge to contest if the officer had probable cause to stop and arrest the minor or if there was detectable alcohol or controlled substance in the minor’s body. This hearing is known as the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing in Fort Worth or Tarrant County, TX.
If you were stopped for DUIA in Fort Worth, TX, and asked to submit to a breath, blood or urine test and refused that request, then you can face an even longer administrative suspension. A refusal can also result in a child under 18 being detained before an appearance in front of a Juvenile Court Judge. A person who is 18 to 21 can be arrested and held in the county jail until bond is posted.
The driver license is suspension period after an administrative suspension for DUIA with a refusal includes:
If the person charged with DUIA is a minor child under the age of 17 years old then the following criminal penalties can be imposed if the child is found to be guilty of the delinquent conduct:
The penalties are slightly different for a person who is 17 years old to 21 years old at the time of the offense including: