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Underage DWIs in Texas Increase During Prom and Graduation – Be Ready

Teenage drinking always increases around prom and graduation.

Recently, in Washington state, a drunk teen driver crashed a van after losing control, then fled the accident on foot.

In the same area, another teen lost control when navigating a roundabout a few hours earlier. They hit a light pole and left the scene with a case of beer and several passengers, but left two girls behind in the vehicle. Both teens were sent to juvenile detention.

Texas, unfortunately, is not immune to these types of incidents. Below, we’re going to tell you how you can be more prepared in case your teenager gets a DWI this spring.

How to Be Prepared as a Parent for the Possibility of a Teen DWI… and Hopefully, Prevent It

Number one? With prom and graduation season soon approaching, you must address the drinking and driving issue with your teen.

Have a calm, non-confrontational talk with your teen about the dangers of drinking and driving. Describe how drinking affects the brain and impairs judgment.

Teens often have a hard time believing that an accident could happen to them, but your warning may save your son’s or daughter’s life and the lives of others.

It may help to share this sobering statistic: car crashes are the leading reason for deaths among 16- to 19-year-olds, and around 20 percent of those who die have alcohol in their systems.

Encourage your child with the truth: not every teen drinks. In fact, some studies indicate that up to 70 percent of teens stay sober. Give your teen tips on how to handle peer pressure to drink.

Let your teen know what you expect and remind him or her how important it is that they stay safe. You can even offer them a “Get Out of Jail Free” card where they are allowed to call you to pick them up if they’re drunk without any questions or consequences.

Finally, tell your child how much love you have for him or her and keep their eyes fixed on what a successful future looks like.

Most likely, they’ll shrug off your advice – at least in the moment. You’d be surprised how much actually gets through, though, and it might just save their life.

What to Expect If Your Child Gets a DWI in Texas

Texas laws are tough on underage drivers who drink. The legal limit for underage blood or breath alcohol concentration is zero percent.

If your teen is pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving, the arresting officer will perform a field sobriety test and a breath test. If alcohol is detected, your teen will be arrested and taken to the police station, where a blood test will be conducted.

You can expect the following penalties for a Class C misdemeanor conviction:

First offense

  • 60 to 180 days of revoked driver’s license
  • Fine of up to $500
  • 20 to 40 hours of community service
  • Completion of alcohol awareness course

Second offense

  • 120 days to two years of revoked driver’s license
  • Fine of up to $500
  • 40 to 60 hours of community service
  • Completion of alcohol awareness course

Third offense

  • 180 days to two years of revoked driver’s license
  • Fine of up to $500
  • 40 to 60 hours of community service

Under certain circumstances, your teen could face adult DWI charges with enhanced penalties.

Fort Worth Underage DWI Lawyer

It’s essential to contact a Texas DWI attorney to protect your teen’s rights if an arrest occurs. Call today for a free case review, and we’ll discuss several possible defenses that can reduce or drop your teen’s charges.

 

About the Author:

The strength of Brian S. Eppes as a lawyer is in his unique and varied background. Like many other private attorneys, at one point he worked as a prosecutor. However, he also served in George W. Bush’s White House, has helped Texas legislators to write laws, and spent time at a tax and estate planning firm. These experiences have enabled him to look at cases in a different way than his peers and find creative solutions that benefit his clients.

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