What are the Penalties for Public Intoxication as a Minor in Texas?
Our Fort Worth criminal law attorney explains how Texas takes a tough stance on underage alcohol-related offenses and the serious penalties in place for the public intoxication of a minor.
In previous generations, underage drinking was viewed as a relatively minor offense. When caught with alcohol in their possession or under the influence in public, young people often got off with a warning or, at worse, a citation. Things have changed over the years and as public awareness has increased regarding the dangers of underage drinking, so have the potential penalties. Our Fort Worth criminal defense attorney explains more about the public intoxication of a minor and other alcohol-related juvenile offenses.
Texas Takes Tough Stance on Underage Drinking
Over the last 40 years, public attitudes toward alcohol consumption have dramatically changed. There is greater awareness regarding the dangers posed by overindulging and the impacts it can have on public safety. As a result, the law now takes a tough stance on any type of alcohol-related offense, particularly those involving underage drinkers. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) advises that the state has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol use involving minors.
There is a direct correlation between underage alcohol use and motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), underage drinking is also associated with higher crime rates and other dangerous behaviors. To discourage it among young people, minors charged with public intoxication or other alcohol-related offenses will be charged as an adult.
Penalties for Public Intoxication of a Minor
Under the Texas Code, you can be charged with public intoxication for appearing in a public place while under the influence and to the degree that you pose a hazard to yourself or others. The penalties imposed for public intoxication have the potential to be severe, particularly true for minors, who will be charged as an adult.
If you or someone you love is facing a public intoxication of a minor charge, reach out to our experienced Fort Worth criminal defense attorney right away. We can protect you against the criminal penalties associated with a conviction, which include the following:
- Fines of up to $500, plus court costs;
- Between eight and 12 hours of community service, which increases with any subsequent convictions:
- Driver’s license suspension of 30 days, increasing to up to 180 days or more for future offenses;
- Mandatory attendance at alcohol awareness classes;
- Requirements to check in with the court regularly and to undergo periodic alcohol testing.
Contact Our Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Public intoxication of a minor is a serious offense. With a zero-tolerance policy in Texas, underage drinkers are prosecuted as adults and face potentially harsh penalties. If you or someone you love is facing these charges, reach out to the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker. Our Fort Worth criminal defense attorney can take the legal actions needed to help prevent a conviction. Call 817-332-7703 or contact our office online to request a consultation today