Any criminal arrest can have unpleasant consequences. If you are younger than 21 years old and arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), the consequences you face can include temporary or long-term loss of your driving privileges. Being unable to drive yourself to school, work, and extracurricular activities can mean constantly asking for rides or relying on costly ridesharing apps.
More importantly, the loss of your driving privileges because of an under 21 DUI could lead to severe criminal and legal consequences that impact your entire future. Contact the DUI team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg to learn more about how a Lancaster under 21 DUI lawyer can help you safeguard your future. Call (214) 696-9253 today to reach the client intake team.
How Blood Alcohol Concentration Is Measured In Texas
In Texas, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can be measured using your blood, breath, or urine. Texas Penal Code § 49.01 says a person is intoxicated if their BAC exceeds 0.08 grams of alcohol.
Because 21 is the legal age for alcohol consumption, DUI law differs for a driver under 21. According to Texas Penal Code § 106.041, you are considered to have been driving under the influence of alcohol if you have “any detectable amount of alcohol” in your system.
That means a single drop of alcohol can cause the loss of your driver’s license and lead to serious criminal and financial penalties. Our team might be able to help you avoid these negative consequences and start over with a clean slate.
The Dangers of Under 21 Drinking And Driving
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research cites the following dangers of underage drinking and driving:
- One in 10 high school drivers drink and drive, with 85 percent admitting to binge drinking before driving.
- Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are at significantly greater risk of suffering fatal injuries in a collision.
- Underage males are more likely to drink and drive than underage females.
Parental involvement is a proven deterrent to underage drinking and driving. If you are the parent of a young driver who was arrested on an under 21 DUI charge, our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg might be able to help. Contact us as soon as possible to learn how we can help limit the damage of an arrest and potential penalties if your child faces an under 21 DUI conviction.
DUI Penalties in Lancaster
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime in Lancaster with severe criminal repercussions. DUI is a designation explicitly reserved for underage drinking. It is a Class 3 misdemeanor—essentially a complex traffic ticket that includes a 60-day driver’s license suspension. Also, in its driver’s handbook, Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) guidelines report the following penalties for under 21 DUI offenses:
- First offense: Class C misdemeanor, up to a $500 fine, 20-40 hours of community service, and mandatory attendance to an alcohol awareness course
- Second offense: Class C misdemeanor, up to a $500 fine, and 40-60 hours of community service
The penalty for a third-time offender varies according to the age of the driver. A driver younger than 17 might face:
- A Class C misdemeanor
- Up to $500 in fines
- 40 to 60 hours of community service
- Possible transference to Juvenile Court
A driver between the ages of 17 and 21 might face:
- A Class B misdemeanor
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- Up to 180 days in jail
- 40-60 hours of community service
In addition, drivers ages 17 to 21 convicted of a third DUI offense might have their license suspended for 90 days with the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. Without the device, license suspension can last an entire year. The judge might also require attending an alcohol awareness course for a second or third offense. Depending on the age of the minor driver, their parents might also be required to attend.
DUI Can Escalate to DWI with Worsening Penalties
Even as a minor, you can be charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated) versus DUI. The penalties for DWI for minors are more stringent and escalate for further offenses. A third offense could include:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Incarceration for up to 10 years
- Driver’s license suspension for up to 18 months
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
A Lancaster under 21 DUI lawyer from our team will help you understand the distinction in charges and the possible penalties you might face. We might be able to intervene on your behalf and negotiate a reduction in charges, reduced sentencing, or prevent the loss of your driver’s license. Contact the criminal defense team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg by calling (214) 696-9253 today.
We Fight Hard to Protect Your Rights
As an underage driver, you have rights that must be honored and respected even in the face of a DUI arrest. For drivers who are 18 or younger, you have rights similar to the Miranda rights an adult might expect. According to the 2020 Juvenile Justice Handbook of Texas, you have the right to:
- Remain silent
- Refuse to make incriminating statements
- A lawyer before questioning
- A lawyer, regardless of ability to pay
- End an interview at any time
Your lawyer will explain any additional rights that may apply to your case if you were younger than 18 at the time of your DUI arrest. Be sure to share the circumstances and details of your arrest with the lawyer who represents you.
Let Us Help You Start Over After an Under 21 DUI
An under 21 DUI can have far-reaching repercussions. A Lancaster under 21 DUI lawyer can help you preserve your driving privileges and protect your future. With over 30 years of experience as a former prosecutor and state district judge, Randall B. Isenberg fights to defend under 21 DUI clients.
Contact the criminal defense team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg by calling (214) 696-9253 to find out how we can help limit the damage of an under 21 DUI charge in Lancaster.