Underage drinking is quite common across the country. Contrary to the preconceptions of some folk, this practice is quite widespread among many young Americans, albeit less commonly charged by state prosecutors. If you were someone you know is concerned with an underage drinking charge and would like to better understand what information is false versus reliable in regard to the offense, please reach out to a Houston underage drinking attorney at the Law Office of David A. Breston today.
As previously mentioned, although it may be quite common to see you in the community, underage drinking is illegal. The legal drinking age in Texas and nationwide is 21 years old. Although it may be lower in other countries, the drinking age in the United States is strict and is punishable with community service, fines, and potential license suspension. Depending on which alcoholic law has been broken and the number of previous offenses, penalties can vary.
Similar to underage drinking, the possession, purchase, and attempted purchase of alcohol are also charges. The minimum penalties for most of these charges include eight hours of community service. The maximum of a first-time offense is $500 in fines, 12 hours of community service, and a 30-day license suspension. It is also important to keep in mind that there’s often a distinction in the severity of punishment for those ages 10 to 17 versus those over the age of 17.
Not everything is so cut and dry, however. Texas Penal Code 106.05 spells out an exception to the possession of alcohol for under-aged individuals. Should the minor be in the visible presence of their parents, guardian, or spouse and possess or consume alcohol, they are technically adhering to the law even though they are under the age of 21. Furthermore, if the possession or consumption of alcohol falls within the scope of the minor’s employment, they may still be acting legally.
Motor vehicles and automobiles also present a newer set of circumstances in regards to the penalties that one may face if charged with Minor in Possession (MIP) or Minor in Consumption (MIC). It is critical that parents and guardians keep in mind that Texas is a zero-tolerance state meaning that any amount of traceable alcohol in the system of a minor operating a vehicle is forbidden.
Offenders of operating an automobile or watercraft while under the influence may receive:
While there are exceptions to the consumption or possession of alcohol while under the age of 21, the state of Texas deals with these offenses quite seriously. It’s for this very recent that it is highly recommended to enlist the help of a Houston underage drinking attorney at the Law Office of David A. Breston. Should you have a case on your hand or simply desire a to speak with a representative, please reach out to us as soon as possible at (713) 804-6492.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Law Office of David A. Breston is fully operational and we can help you by phone, video or in-person when needed! Call us at (713) 224-4040.