Drunk driving is a serious charge with potentially severe penalties that can follow you for years, even a lifetime. Regardless of the driver’s age, history, or circumstances, all people facing a drunk or otherwise impaired driving charge should consult an experienced attorney to minimize the future effects of such a charge. With that being said, in the state of Texas, drunk driving charges are even more serious for people under the age of 21 years old because it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. Texas is a no tolerance state, meaning if a driver under 21 is found to have any – even trace amounts – of alcohol in their system, they can be charged with a crime. This is why it is not only important, but imperative, to contact an experienced attorney as soon as you can if you or a loved one have been charged with drunk driving under the age of 21.
What is the Difference Between a DUI and DWI in Texas?
Many states use the terms DUI and DWI interchangeably, but that is not the case in Texas. In the state of Texas, DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is the standard charge for offenses in which an individual operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance, whether or not that substance is legal. A DUI, however, is a special charge for drunk driving offenses reserved only for people under the age of 21. Additionally, a DUI in Texas doesn’t require the driver to hit any specific BAC level. Texas is a zero-tolerance state, meaning if a person under the age of 21 is driving a car with any detectable level of alcohol in their blood, even a level that would not impair the driver, they can be charged with a DUI. In Texas, a driver who was under the age of 21 at the time of the offense and who had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit of .08% could be charged with both a DUI and a DWI.
Both charges can be further aggravated and lead to even harsher penalties if the charge in question wasn’t a first offense, if the driver’s blood alcohol content was above .15%, if an open container of alcohol was present in the vehicle, if a minor was present in the car, if someone was injured, or if someone died as a result of the impaired driving.
San Antonio DWI Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one are facing DUI or DWI charge while under the age of 21, it’s imperative that you seek the help of an experienced, skilled defense attorney to protect you, your rights, and your future. Everybody, especially young adults, can make mistakes, and the Krause Law Firm understands that. Our expert team has significant experience defending DWI charges and will fight for the best possible outcome so one bad decision doesn’t have to affect your whole future. The Krause Law Firm will advocate for you from day one, so don’t delay getting the assistance you need to fight these charges. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.