A minor can refuse a breathalyzer test but must realize there are serious consequences for doing so. The automatic suspension of a minor’s license may occur and apply for an extended period of time, depending on whether it is the minor’s first offense.
Refusing to take a breathalyzer test is a personal decision that a minor driver must weigh carefully. Refusing to take the test might appear as an admission of guilt.
A traffic stop for suspected driving under the influence (DUI) can greatly impact a minor’s future. The steps they take immediately following the stop, including their interaction with law enforcement, can follow them throughout their life.
Underage Drinkers Should Know About the Implied Consent Law
All licensed drivers are subject to the Texas implied consent law, which is described under the Transportation Code §724.011. This law implies consent to a breath or blood test for suspected DUI. When a minor refuses to take a test, they may be placed in jail and held without bond until they can appear before a Juvenile Court Judge or magistrate.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), license suspension for a minor refusing a breathalyzer test is as follows:
- 180 days for a first refusal
- Two years for a second or subsequent refusal
A minor may request a reinstatement of their license if they feel their arrest was unfounded or illegal. This process may be easier with the help of a criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer can stand up against an aggressive prosecutor who might want the strictest punishment possible.
In certain situations, a minor may face adult charges concerning their DUI arrest. The transition from a DUI charge to a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge is extremely serious. Securing a criminal defense lawyer’s services may help protect a minor’s legal interests and perhaps their future.
DUIs Can Have Deadly Consequences
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 30 people die each day in the United States due to an intoxicated driver.
A minor whose drinking and driving results in another person’s death has to live with that experience forever. In cases involving wrongful death, a minor may face serious time in a state penitentiary and significant fines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that one out of every ten teens drinks and drives. The risk for the driver, their passengers, and other drivers includes life-changing injuries and possible death.
If you are a minor and police charged you with a DWI, it is important that you understand the legal consequences of your decision. A criminal defense lawyer may provide legal representation during this difficult time.
Texas’ Zero Tolerance Policy
When it comes to underage drinking and driving, Texas has a zero-tolerance policy. This means that any amount of alcohol in a minor’s system may subject them to a breath or blood test.
A minor is considered any driver under the age of 21. Once a driver turns 21 years old, the state blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher applies to DWI charges.
The Law Office of Randall B. Isenberg Can Help a Minor Defend Their DUI Charge
Obtaining a driver’s license is a right of passage for most Texan teens. With the license comes a considerable amount of responsibility. Engaging in underage drinking to fit in with a crowd and then getting behind the wheel of a car can be a deadly decision.
An underage DWI conviction can greatly impact a minor’s future when it comes to scholarships, college, and employment. Contact a criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg as soon as possible.
Randall B. Isenberg is a former Senior Chief Felony Prosecutor and a State District Trial Judge. He and his team help people charged with DUI or DWI fight against their charges to get them dismissed or reduced.
A minor can refuse a breathalyzer test but must realize there are serious consequences for doing so. If your minor faces serious charges due to a DUI or a DWI, contact us now for a free case evaluation.
Texas takes underage drinking and driving very seriously. The long-term effects of a possible conviction can impact your minor’s future forever. A strong defense strategy by a member of our team may help prevent or lessen the impact.
If you were recently arrested and charged with drinking and driving and you refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg now for a free case evaluation at (214) 696-9253.