What Is Minor In Consumption in Texas?
In Texas, a minor in consumption charge is possible for anyone under 21 who has consumed an alcoholic beverage.
Law enforcement officers don’t have to witness a minor drinking alcohol to issue a citation. If an officer smells alcohol on a minor’s breath, they will consider that sufficient evidence for them to file a charge for minor in consumption.
A minor in consumption attorney can help prevent this moment from ruining a young person’s life.
While possessing alcohol is illegal for a minor, possession alone is not enough for an officer to issue a minor in consumption citation.
Are you or your child facing a minor in consumption offense in North Texas? Don’t delay. Contact the office at Varghese Summersett to speak with a top defense attorney. You’re future is too important.
In this post, we’ll explain Texas’ minor in consumption laws, the potential penalties for conviction, and look at state and national underage drinking rates.
What is the Texas law for minor in consumption of alcohol?
Regarding alcohol in Texas, anyone under 21 years old is considered a minor.
It is illegal for a minor to consume, possess, purchase, or attempt to purchase alcohol.
What are the penalties for minor in consumption of alcohol in Texas?
Texas has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for alcohol-related offenses by minors, especially minor in consumption.
The penalties for non-driving alcohol-related offenses by minors increase with successive offenses, including consuming or possessing alcohol, buying or attempting to buy alcohol, and falsely identifying as age 21 or older to a person selling or serving alcohol.
A minor in consumption offense is generally treated more seriously than a possession offense. Contact a respected minor in consumption attorney at Varghese Summersett to get a better understanding of what you’re facing and how best to fight the charge.
The penalties for non-driving alcohol-related offenses, including minor in consumption, if convicted, are:
1st offense: It’s a Class C misdemeanor resulting in up to a $500 fine, eight to 12 hours of community service, mandatory attendance at an Alcohol Awareness course, and a 30-day driver’s license suspension.
2nd offense: It’s a Class C misdemeanor resulting in up to a $500 fine, 20-40 hours of community service, attendance at an Alcohol Awareness course, and a 60-day driver’s license suspension.
3rd offense for ages 10-17: This is considered Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision, or CINS if the person is age 10 to 17. It could result in up to a $500 fine, 20-40 hours of community service, and a six-month driver’s license suspension.
3rd offense for ages 17-20: It’s a Class B misdemeanor for those 17 or older but younger than 21 and can result in up to a $2,000 fine, 40-60 hours of community service, up to a six-month jail sentence, and a six-month driver’s license suspension. Deferred disposition is not an option for minors facing a third or subsequent conviction for consumption by a minor.
If you are facing a higher-level drinking offense, it’s integral to hire a minor in consumption attorney with an unrivaled history of success fighting such cases. That’s Varghese Summersett.
When is it legal for a minor to consume alcohol in Texas?
Minors in Texas can consume alcohol if they’re in the presence of an adult parent, guardian, or spouse.
Other instances where a minor isn’t charged for consuming alcohol include while under law enforcement supervision (aiding a police sting operation) and when a minor has requested emergency medical assistance.
For example, if a group of minors has been drinking and one becomes sick and passes out, the minor calling paramedics to the scene will not be charged with minor in consumption.
The minor, however, must remain at the scene until the medics arrive, and they must cooperate with medical and police officials.
To learn about alternatives to a conviction for a minor drinking offense
Contact a North Texas minor in consumption attorney to learn about potential alternatives to conviction, including deferred disposition and Teen Court. Options for minors are different from county to county in Texas.
How prevalent is underage drinking in Texas?
According to Texas Health and Human Services, more than 60% of seventh-grade or higher students had consumed alcohol at least once. More than 30% report they drank alcohol within the past month.
How prevalent is underage drinking in America?
The Centers for Disease Control calls underage drinking a significant health problem.
- The CDC reports that minors make up 11% of U.S. alcohol consumption.
- There are about 3,900 deaths a year among people under 21 because of alcohol.
- Drinking by minors cost taxpayers about $24 billion in 2010, the CDC estimated.
Need a minor in consumption attorney in North Texas? Call us.
Minor in consumption of alcohol or drug charges can have a massive effect on a young person’s life in Texas. A conviction will compound the effects. If you or a family member is facing an alcohol-related offense, contact a minor in consumption attorney with Varghese Summersett as soon as possible.
The sooner our defense team can take control of your case, the better chance we have of getting the charges reduced or dismissed, if possible.
Our team of Board Certified criminal and juvenile defense lawyers would work diligently to resolve the case in the most beneficial way possible. Our team is filled with former prosecutors, so we know their playbook.
Contact our office for a free consultation by calling 817-203-2220.