Many parents find themselves worrying about what would happen to their children if they decide to drink alcohol while under the legal age. Of primary concern is the legal impact. Texas maintains zero tolerance for alcohol-based offenses, especially those involving minors.
Usually, underage drinking occurs from peer pressure. It is not uncommon for teens to mimic the actions of their role models and family members either. Whether or not this becomes a first or subsequent offense, it is important to know the penalties so proper actions to mitigate them are employed.
Penalties for underage alcohol consumption and possession
An underage alcohol consumption charge is a Class C misdemeanor. Any minor who is under the age of 21 and drinks or shares with other minors or attempts to purchase alcohol is subject to a criminal record. They may face additional criminal charges if they break other laws or commit other crimes while in the act, such as operating a vehicle, while intoxicated and injuring others or causing property damage. Minors who supply other underage individuals with alcohol risk a class A misdemeanor.
The legal penalties for underage drinking or possession include a temporary loss of legal driving privileges, community service and criminal history with a misdemeanor conviction. Some minors who are dependent on alcohol become repeat offenders. Teens who engage in underage alcohol possession or consumption and end up with subsequent charges risk stiffer penalties that include a longer-term for jail incarceration, driver’s license revocation and thousands of dollars in fines.