Free Confidential Consultation
(713) 224-4040 Español
Request Free Consultation
Two people shaking hands

Can You Get Arrested For Underage Drinking in Texas?

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.

State and National Law of Consumption by a Minor 

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.

Texas Penal Code For Underage Drinking

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.

Special Circumstances in a Case of Underage Consumption 

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:

  • A minimum sentence of 8 hours of community service if they are a first-time offender.
  • As a first-time offender, A maximum sentence of $500 in fines, 12 hours of community service, and a 30-day license suspension.
  • DWI second and third-time offenders may receive maximum penalties of hundreds to thousands of dollars, dozens of hours of community service, potential jail time, and a multi-month license suspension.

Addressing an Underage Drinking Charge in Houston, Texas

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.