Underage Drinking and Driving

Information provided directly from Texas Department of Transportation

If you’re a minor (under 21) and found to be in possession of alcohol, you may face the following penalties:

  • Up to a $500 fine
  • A 30-180 day driver license suspension
  • 8 to 40 hours of community service
  • Mandatory alcohol-awareness classes

Any amount of beer, wine or liquor can trigger these penalties. A second or third offense can lead to suspension of your driver license for 60 to 180 days. If you’re 17 or older, you also can be fined as much as $2,000 and go to jail for up to 180 days for a third offense.

Underage Drinking and Driving

If you are under 21, it is illegal for you to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system. The first time you are stopped for drinking and driving, you could face the following penalties:

  • Up to a $500 fine,
  • A 60-day driver license suspension
  • 20 to 40 hours of community service
  • Mandatory alcohol-awareness classes

If you’re 17 or older and are pulled over for drinking and driving with a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater, you could face:

  • Up to a $2,000 fine
  • Three to 180 days in jail
  • A driver license suspension for 90 days to a year

Get caught drinking and driving a second or third time, and the penalties increase. That’s called zero tolerance. It means zero alcohol. And that’s the law in Texas.

For Parents

Be a good example: don’t drink and drive. Remind your children to call you if they’re ever in an uncomfortable situation. Teach them never to get in a car with someone who’s been drinking.

Providing Alcohol to Minors

Furnishing alcohol to someone under 21 can lead to a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Selling alcohol to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor, which can bring a $4,000 fine and land the seller a year in jail.

A parent, legal guardian or spouse can provide alcohol to their child or spouse as long as they are present when the minor possesses or consumes it.