You know it’s illegal for someone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol
and drink and drive, but is that it or are there other underage drinking
laws that minors should be aware of? In Texas, there are various underage
drinking laws and they go beyond
driving while intoxicated and purchasing alcohol.
Whether you’re under 21 or the parent or legal guardian of a teenager
in the Lone Star State, this is what you need to know. It is illegal for
a minor (someone under 21) to do the following in Texas:
- Purchase alcohol
- Try to purchase alcohol
- Possess alcohol
- Consume alcohol
- Be intoxicated in public
- Lie about their age to obtain alcoholic beverages
If a minor does any of the above in Texas, he or she is guilty of a Class
C misdemeanor, which is punishable by: 1) a fine up to $500, 2) between
8 and 40 hours of community service, a 30 to 180-day driver license suspension
or license denial, and 3) an alcohol awareness class.
If the minor is age seventeen or older and it’s his or her third
alcohol violation, the penalties are much harsher. On a third offense,
the minor will be fined up to $2,000, their driver’s license will
be automatically suspended, and they may be confined in jail for up to
If a minor has been convicted of an alcohol-related offense before, and
he or she fails to take the alcohol awareness course that has been imposed
by a judge, his or her driver license will be suspended for one year.
Underage DWI in Texas
Under Texas’ zero tolerance law, it’s illegal for a driver
under the age of 21 to drive a motor vehicle on a public road with any
alcohol in their system. A first-time underage
DWI is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500, up to 40 hours
of community service, a 60-day driver license suspension, and by attendance
in an alcohol awareness program. The penalties are stiffer for a second
and third underage DWI.
Can I Get Fired for DWI?