Drinking and driving is a serious offense in general, but when a person under 21 is found under the influence or in possession of alcohol while driving, they might face harsh penalties. If an underage driver causes an accident because of their impairment, their charges might be elevated if the accident led to an injury or fatality.
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI) in Southlake, Texas, you might still be able to defend your case and have your charges dismissed or reduced. A Southlake under 21 DUI lawyer can review your case to see if your rights were violated, such as during your arrest.
You can reach out to our legal team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg and speak to one of our representatives about your situation and the concerns you might have about your case. We give a free consultation to all prospective clients, which can serve as an opportunity for you to understand the DUI charge you are facing. Your consultation begins once you call (214) 696-9253.
DUI and DWI Are Different Forms of Drinking and Driving Offenses
There is a difference between driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI). In Texas, DUIs are generally given to people younger than 21 years old, whereas DWIs are given to people of legal drinking age. However, there are other differences between these offenses.
One key example of how these offenses differ is the amount of alcohol consumption that qualifies as being under the influence or intoxicated. Drivers who are 21 and over may be arrested and charged with a DWI if they fail a field sobriety test or have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher. If the driver has a commercial driver’s license, they may be charged with a DWI if they have a BAC level of 0.04 percent or higher.
According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code §106.041, underage drivers may be charged if they have any alcohol in their system, even if it is below a BAC level of 0.08 percent. This can lead to a DUI charge, which may be punishable by fines, jail time, and community service.
An underage driver may also be charged with DUI for having alcohol in their car, even if they have no alcohol in their system. This violates both Texas’ open container laws and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.05, which prohibits minors from possessing alcohol.
A DUI Can Turn into a DWI
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS), minors can still receive DWIs and may face penalties like license suspension, a mandatory ignition interlock device, and attending a 12-hour Alcohol Education Program. A DUI charge might get enhanced to a DWI charge if the underage driver caused an accident that led to an injury or fatality.
A DUI charge might also be enhanced if there was a child passenger in the vehicle, as this would be considered child endangerment. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), driving with a child passenger while drunk may be penalized with a $10,000 fine, jail time, and license suspension.
If your charges were elevated from a DUI to a DWI, you might still be able to reduce them or have them dismissed, depending on the details of your case. A Southlake under 21 DUI lawyer might be able to investigate whether there was substantial evidence to raise your charges or whether your DUI was legitimate in the first place.
Call our firm at (214) 696-9253 and tell us your side of the story. We want to help you fight for your rights so that you can move forward with your life.
You Need as Much Evidence as Possible to Support Your Case
Police officers do not have the authority to pull you over without a reason. Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull an individual over and must follow civil arrest procedures so that the charge is legitimate. If your arrest, confinement, or indictment was unlawful at any point, you have a right to defend yourself against this injustice and fight for your innocence.
When building your defense, your lawyer might try to collect as much evidence as possible to prove your innocence or show how your rights were violated. For example, we might seek out:
- The police report that details the arrest
- Body camera or police vehicle video footage of the arrest
- Witness statements if anyone witnessed the arrest
- Breathalyzer or blood test results
If we can determine that your rights were violated during your arrest or if you were coerced after your arrest, we might use this as the basis for your defense strategy. Examples of rights violations include:
- Not being read your Miranda rights
- Discrimination based on race, gender, age, sexuality, disability, or other protected class
- An unlawful police stop
- Being arrested without reasonable suspicion
Your lawyer might mention other ways to defend your case.
Let the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Review Your Case
If you are still worried about how to defend your case, let our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg look at your case. Our firm works under the guidance of Randall B. Isenberg, who has had over 30 years of experience in the legal system. His career includes working as a former State District Trial Judge and a Senior Chief Felony Prosecutor, which means he is familiar with all sides of the criminal litigation process.
If you want to work with a Southlake under 21 DUI lawyer on your case, call our law firm at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation about the kind of charges you might be facing. We can discuss every aspect of your arrest and the accusations made against you. Our team aims to be thorough with your case to develop a strategy for your defense. Call now to get started.