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What can happen to minors facing DWI in Texas?

Texas law enforcement and legislators take all alcohol-related driving violations seriously. Even more serious is when a minor is facing DWI allegations. For those under 21 who are confronted with DWI charges, it is vital to know how the state handles charging a minor, what the blood-alcohol content rules are, when an officer can make a traffic stop, and what implied consent means.

For minors who have a detectable amount of alcohol in their bloodstream and have operated a motor vehicle, they will be charged with DUIA by a minor. For people 21 and older, the blood-alcohol content level that will warrant a DWI arrest is 0.08 percent. However, minors are not subjected to this law. Any amount of alcohol will lead to a DUIA arrest. For a minor who was driving without a driver's license, the driving privileges will be subject to denial for the same time period as a driver's license suspension. For those charged with DWI, the driver's license will be suspended for 60 days if it is a first offense; 120 days if it is a second offense; and 180 days for a third or subsequent offense.

Implied consent means that the driver must submit to testing if the officer requests it. If the driver refuses, their driver's license will be suspended for 180 days if it is their first offense or two years if it is their second or subsequent incident of refusal. Law enforcement can stop a vehicle if there is probable cause or reasonable suspicion to do so. Once the stop is made, the driver can be asked to perform field sobriety tests.

It is critical to remember that there are DWI defenses available to minors just as there are for adults. For example, they can request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge if they want to dispute whether the officer had probable cause to make the stop. When a minor is facing DWI charges, it is imperative to have legal assistance to combat them.

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