Zero Tolerance Laws
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about a quarter of automobile crashes involve an underage drinking driver. 95% of the 14 million people who are alcohol dependent began drinking before the age of 21. Unfortunately, alcohol is a substance that affects reasoning, muscle coordination and reduces the function of the brain.
Young adults feel invincible and often believe they can get away with driving under the influence without facing penalties. What many are unaware of is that Texas is a zero-tolerance state. Zero-tolerance laws make it illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. Even an innocent glass of wine with dinner could cause a young driver to obtain a DUI charge.
Houston Lawyer for Zero-Tolerance DWI
If you or your child has been arrested for a zero tolerance DWI in Houston, we recommend you retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Attorney Matthew Horak has handled several juvenile DWI and other related alcohol offenses in the state of Texas. He will fight aggressively on your behalf.
The clock is ticking. Don’t put your future at risk and contact Horak Law. Attorney Matt Horak accepts clients throughout the greater Houston area. He also defends clients in the surrounding areas, including Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, and Waller counties. Call (713) 225-8000 to schedule a free, initial consultation.
- Zero Tolerance DWI Charges in Houston
- Zero Tolerance DWI Penalties in Texas
- Additional Resources for Zero Tolerance Laws
The state of Texas has established a zero-tolerance policy for juveniles. This means that a minor can’t have even the slightest bit of alcohol in their system while driving. The law applies to anyone who operates a vehicle, boat, or flies an airplane. However, in most cases, it is referred to in the context of underage drinking and driving.
Since Texas is a zero-tolerance policy state, that means people under the age of 21 cannot have any traces of alcohol in their system at all and if they do, they could be arrested for DWI. Adults 21 and older, on the other hand, must have a BAC of .08% while driving to face DWI charges.
Being arrested for underage drinking and driving can be a traumatic experience, especially if it is only the first encounter with a law enforcement officer. A DWI conviction can stay on someone’s criminal record for years. If you have been charged with alleged drunk driving, contact Horak Law to obtain the legal counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Law enforcement officers will utilize a field sobriety test or a chemical test to detect if an individual has been driving under the influence. Young adults are also subject to implied consent laws, which means they can face administrative penalties for refusing chemical tests. If a person under the age of 21 refuses a DWI chemical testing, they will automatically have their license suspended.
The penalties a young driver faces for violating zero tolerance laws depend on whether they have any prior DUI/DWI offenses, or any aggravating circumstances present at the time of arrest.
First Offense – Class C Misdemeanor
- A fine up to $500
- 20-40 hours of community service
- Up to 180 days of drivers license suspension
- Attendance at an Alcohol Awareness Course
Second Offense – Class C Misdemeanor
- A fine of up to $500;
- 40-60 hours of community service;
- Up to 2 years of drivers license suspension
- Attendance at an Alcohol Awareness Course
Third Offense – Delinquent Conduct by Minor
- A fine of up to $2,000
- 40-60 hours of community service
- Up to 2 years of driver’s license suspension
Teen Court – Visit the official website for Houston’s Municipal Courts Department. You’ll be able to learn more information about teen court, read about how the program is run, and view contact details. Teen Court’s mission is to promote application of appropriate sanctions in relation to juvenile offenses and improve the overall understanding of the juvenile justice system.
Texas Alcohol-Related Laws for Minors – Click on the link to view a document provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety from the Driver License Division. Find more information on zero-tolerance laws function, DWI penalties for juveniles, and other related alcohol offenses.
Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website for Texas Legislation to learn more about the driving while intoxicated law. Access the statute to learn more about DWI penalties, enhanced DWI offenses and other alcohol-related crimes found in Chapter 49. You can also view definitions of DWI-related terms.
Houston Zero Tolerance DWI Defense Lawyer, TX
Are you the parent of a minor or young adult who has been arrested for alleged drunk driving in Houston, TX? Contact Horak Law as soon as possible. Our criminal defense attorney Matt Horak will fight to obtain a favorable outcome that results in the fewest possible penalties.
Zero tolerance DUI charges can be a complicated area of law, requiring skill and experience. Attorney Matt Horak has all three. Call (713) 225-8000 to schedule a free, initial consultation. Horak Law represents clients in Houston, Texas and the surrounding areas, including Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, and Waller counties.