People under the age of 21 often drink at parties, while hanging out with friends, and even in bars. However, there are many legal consequences of underage DWI that can impact the rest of their lives. Parents can help their children avoid an underage DWI by understanding the penalties and discussing them frequently. Teens and young adults can also talk about the penalties with each other and encourage avoiding underage drinking to solve the problem.
Common Statutory Penalties of DWI
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is illegal in all states. If you are under the age of 21, your legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is lower than that of someone who is over 21. You may even be restricted by a zero-tolerance law that prohibits you from having any alcohol in your system while driving. If you are caught driving while intoxicated, you may face the following legal penalties:
· Time in jail or juvenile detention
· Significant fines
· Revocation or suspension of your driver’s license
The extent of these penalties will depend on how much alcohol was in your system, and whether you have been convicted of a DWI in the past. If this is your second DWI or you have had multiple convictions for underage drinking, you may be facing much harsher penalties.
Alternative Consequences for DWI
While incarceration or detention and fines are common penalties for underage drinking and driving, most courts have flexibility in imposing legal penalties for this offense. If you have never been convicted of DWI, or if your level of intoxication was extremely low, you may have a better chance of seeking alternative legal consequences.
Common alternatives to jail and fines include:
· Community service
· Alcohol or drug treatment programs
These penalties are often preferential to jail time and fines because they can help keep a DWI off your record. You may be able to avoid a conviction if you are granted the above alternative punishments.
Using Intoxalock Ignition Interlock to Avoid Underage DWI
The Intoxalock Ignition Interlock device is an alcohol detection meter that can be installed in your underage driver’s vehicle. The device is simple to use and requires an easy blow pattern and one-button keypad input. The device can be used to prevent underage DWI by stopping your young driver from operating the vehicle while intoxicated. Instead of waiting to deal with a legal situation until after it happens, use an Intoxalock Ignition Interlock device to prevent it from ever happening.
How a DWI Attorney Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI or DUI, you should seek the assistance of a skilled DWI attorney right away. A Houston DWI attorney from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett understands your legal consequences and will fight hard for you to avoid jail or detention time and fines, and instead receive alternative punishment. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Content for this article was contributed by Ned Barnett, a Houston, TX DWI attorney partner of Intoxalock. Ned Barnett is a skilled Houston criminal defense lawyer with 30 years of experience.