Underage DWI

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) can lead to harsh consequences for anyone, including minors. In 2017, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 16 percent of teen fatalities on the road were related to alcohol. Texas has implemented strict underage DWI laws to combat this issue.

If you or someone you know is a juvenile with DWI charges, it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today. A criminal record so early in life can significantly affect your chances of gaining employment or pursuing your educational goals. If you’re convicted, you’ll also face expensive fines, license suspension, community service and even DWI school.

Don’t wait another moment when it comes to your future. Contact a skilled attorney so you can start your defense plan today.

Attorney for Underage DWI in Houston, Texas

Driving while intoxicated is a common charge for young adults that can drastically alter your life. College applicants with a criminal conviction can have difficulty getting into their desired university. In addition, you could face issues once you’re applying for jobs.

It’s time to stop worrying about what could happen. You can battle these charges by contacting a qualified attorney at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. We can create a strong defense for you utilizing our resources and knowledge.

Call us today at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a free consultation. We accept clients throughout the Harris County area including Houston, Tomball, Bellaire, and West University Place.

Overview of Juvenile DWI in Texas

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Texas Zero-Tolerance Laws

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported in 2017 there were 5,198 alcohol-related crashes involving minors. Numbers like these have led Texas to implement a zero-tolerance policy for underage drivers. This means the legal limit for minors has been lowered significantly.

Law enforcement uses chemical testing to measure blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). Texas has established a legal limit of .08 BAC for non-commercial drivers who are at or over 21. Minors are not given this option under Texas’ zero-tolerance policy. Instead, the legal limit for an underage driver is .02 BAC. This incredibly low limit was implemented to deter juveniles from drinking and driving.

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Can a Minor Refuse DWI Testing?

A minor pulled over for drunk driving will undergo the same DWI testing as an of-age adult. Law enforcement uses chemical and field sobriety testing to determine your impairment level. Because of this, you are also subject to implied consent laws.

Implied consent laws state drivers are implicitly bound to chemical testing by law enforcement if they’re pulled over for DWI. This may sound intimidating, but you can still choose to refuse testing. A refusal, however, will result in an administrative penalty even if you’re a minor.

Minors who refuse testing will have their license suspended for:

  • Up to 180 days for a first offense; or
  • Up to 2 years for a second or subsequent offense

It can be daunting to say no to a police officer, but most attorneys recommend you refuse chemical testing. Complying with chemical testing means the prosecution will have concrete evidence against you. It will be much harder to contest your DWI conviction if you submit to testing.

The police officer will probably try an intimidate you by saying you’ll be arrested and have your license suspended if you refuse. However, what they won’t tell is you’ll be arrested and have your license suspended if you submit and fail. Unfortunately, there isn’t a win in either scenario. The best option is to refuse testing so you’re better prepared to fight your DWI in court.

If you submit to testing and fail, you can have your license suspended for:

  • Up to 60 days for a first offense;
  • Up to 120 days for a second offense; or
  • Up to 180 days for a third offense

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Penalties for Underaged DWI in Texas

Texas law isn’t kind to minors with DWI charges. If you’re a minor, you might not face the statutory penalties. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t face consequences. You might not be incarcerated in jail, but the judge may impose one of the following conditions on your sentencing.

  • Substance and alcohol abuse treatment;
  • Probation with conditions such as maintaining employment and attending school regularly;
  • Restitution to the victim;
  • Community service;
  • Expensive fines;
  • House arrest; or
  • Placement in a juvenile home or detention facility;

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Teen Court in Harris County, Texas

Texas provides minors an alternative options to  juvenile court called Teen Court. The voluntary program was designed by Houston Municipal Court and volunteers for minors with class C misdemeanors. Teen Court is a courtroom run by teenage volunteers who are assisted by legal justice professionals.

You can choose to plead guilty or no contest, so your case will be adjudicated to Teen Court. The court will then deliberate a sentencing with teen jurors. Typically, the penalties in Teen Court are lighter including required jury terms at Teen Court. Depending on your situation, Teen Court may be the best choice for you. You could avoid harsh penalties such as expensive fines or DWI school.

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Additional Resources

Texas Laws for Underaged Drinking – Visit a document provided by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn more about DWI laws for minors. Access the brochure to learn more about the arrest procedures for minors, implied consent laws and juvenile DWI penalties.

Teen Court – Visit the official website of Houston’s Municipal Courts Department to learn more about Teen Court. Access the site to learn about the program’s purpose, requirements, process and contact information.

Lawyer for Juvenile DWI in Harris County, Texas

If you or your child has been charged with DWI, it’s crucial you gain legal representation. Minors still face harsh penalties which can include steep fines, community service and license suspension. The quicker you gain legal counsel, the higher the chances you’ll be able to reduce or dismiss your charges.

The attorneys at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. are experienced in DWI law and have handled numerous juvenile DWI cases. We strive to protect the future of young adults and teen through quality legal service. Call (713) 224-5529 to schedule a case evaluation today.

Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the Houston area including Uptown, River Oaks, West University Place and Pasadena.

This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.


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Driving While Intoxicated (Blood Draw .16)
Client had bond forfeited while case was pending for not being able to attend trial when Judge ordered us to be there due to his teaching job at Texas A&M University. When he finally...read more
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Houston, TX 77007
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Robert Henderson
Robert Henderson
December 22, 2023.
I want to give a special thanks to Tyler Flood & Associates. Getting charged with a dwi was the worst feeling and situation I've been in, but the professionalism and confidence that Tyler Fllod & Associates showed throughout my case definitely helped me get some sleep at night. Then when they called and let me know that my case was dismissed and all charges dropped was incredible. Once again, thanks to Tyler Flood & Associates.
Zeta Ze
Zeta Ze
December 15, 2023.
Houston DWI/DUI Tyler Flood is the best lawyer to represent you in a DWI/DUI case. Mr. Flood saved my license from being suspended in a non-refusal weekend. In a case, where I feel I did everything wrong and had 0 chance, in my opinion, for a dismissal, my only hope and chance was to hire Mr. Flood and his firm. Having had previous experience with Mr. Flood's firm, I felt that if I had any percentage chance of a dismissal, I had to go with Mr. Flood again. As I am writing this review, I'm still in shock and awe in how Mr. Flood was able to get a dismissal before trial completely started. Mr. Flood knew the law better than the arresting officer and Prosecutors. Even the judge was impressed and paid him a compliment after the dismissal. In my opinion, if you want a fighting chance, hire Mr. Flood and his firm. Mr. Flood genuinely cares about all his clients and does not merely see you as a customer. He and his team are always working on your case. Trust his process. They are absolutely the BEST.
briana Munoz
briana Munoz
December 5, 2023.
Thanks to Tyler Flood I am able to continue my life, him and his partners were amazing in guiding me throughout this hard process. Tyler and his team got me a CASE DISMISSED on my DWI case. His team kept in contact with me on every small detail about my case while being able to thoroughly explain every possibility for me. I also never had to step foot in a courtroom! Him and his team had my back every step of the way and never made me feel like it was not going to be okay. Tyler flood is the BEST DWI/DUI attorney no doubt, please consider letting him take your case if you are ever in need of an amazing lawyer.
October 19, 2023.
When I found myself in a precarious situation and didn’t know where or who to turn to I was recommended to Tyler Flood and Associates. After researching and reading many reviews I decided to hire and retain Flood and Associates services. This was one of the best decisions I made in my life, not only were they there for me in every dim moment and never too busy to answer every question I had whether it was frivolous or not, his expertise was demonstrated to me during my trial. So much so that two other defendants asked for his name and number during my trial. He fought tooth-and-nail for me and he will for you too. I’m only rating him five stars because I can’t rate him any higher. I’ll thank him for the rest of my life.
October 12, 2023.
Houston DWI/DUI Attorney Tyler Flood is the best in the business! Tyler and his team made the entire process stress free for what is a very stressful situation. From winning the first administrative hearing (to retain my license/avoid a breathalyzer) to getting the dismissal before trial even started. He is truly the best in the business!
Cesar Ricardez
Cesar Ricardez
October 3, 2023.
I hired Tyler Flood the day after my DUI arrest after reading glowing reviews about him and I couldn’t be happier that I did so. He took care of both my cases to keep my driving rights and the misdemeanor DUI charge in court. I never even had to appear in court or do anything, him and his team took care of anything while I carried on with my life and would just get updates whenever they appeared in court on my behalf. At the end, my driver license was never suspended and they got my case dismissed. Lesson learned, I don’t wish anyone to get in my situation but if you do, don’t hesitate to hire Tyler Flood and his team, they are extremely professional and they go for the win. No deal, no probation, got it all dismissed.
September 14, 2023.
Tyler Flood, Houston DWI/DUI attorney is fantastic! He is professional, smart and takes pride in getting the best possible outcome for you. This was my second DWI and I didn't want to take chances. I found him on Google and I too was in disbelief with all the 5.0 star reviews. Upon meeting him I quickly discovered it was all true. A lawyer with his own science lab WTH??????? Long story short he got my case dismissed without going to court. You can not put a price on freedom. The only downside is I only hope to need his services this one time. 😀 Thanks again Mr. Flood God bless.
John Sellers
John Sellers
August 31, 2023.
Houston DUI/DWI attorney Tyler Flood is the guy to go to!! I started my journey with these guys on August 4th of this year, my case was dismissed before the end of the month!! Well worth it!! They are organized and efficient, kept me informed of what was going on and answered all my questions. I have shared with my friends and definitely recommend to anyone.
August 29, 2023.
Houston DUI/DWI attorney Tyler Flood is an outstanding attorney and person. If you are in need of a lawyer who understands the panic and sheer fear a family feels when this happens in their lives,Tyler Flood is the attorney for you. He has an outstanding educational background, his office includes an on-site, state-of-the-arts laboratory, and he is surrounded with a legal team to provide background and research data for him to be successful in representing you. He is a One-of-Kind, highly accomplished attorney that will promptly respond to you throughout the duration of your case. Seriously, this guy NEVER sleeps! Tyler Flood understands the importance of a person’s reputation and the seriousness of a DUI/DWI charge. If you choose to work with him, he will work with you to be successful! Tyler Flood is AWESOME!
Trey Perrett
Trey Perrett
August 14, 2023.
Words cannot express what a dominating lawyer Tyler Flood and his team are. I ran into some trouble in 2021 and I was just getting my family, career ,and life together. I was completely scared of what the repercussions could be for the rest of my life. I asked civil layers who they recommend and repeatedly Tyler Flood’s name was given to me. At my first appointment, I was overcome with anxiety of what will happen next. Tyler put me at ease immediately. He believed I had a case. They were great on response time and helping me navigate the often confusing legal system. It’s a long process to have a case brought to trial but I knew I had an amazing lawyer and his team in my corner. Finally, I received the call that my case was dismissed, and I was cleared of all charges. I could not be happier with the way he and his colleagues handled my case and brought home the W. I strongly recommend having Tyler Flood in your corner because he delivers.
Disclaimer: The information on this website does NOT constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, then retain an attorney to discuss the facts of your case. If you would like to discuss your case with an attorney at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc., then please contact us to schedule a consultation. Until we specifically agree to act for you on a matter, you should not provide us with any confidential information or material.
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