Driving under the influence of alcohol or other psychotropic or psychoactive substances is one of the most dangerous things people can do. Car accidents cause several injuries and kill dozens of people yearly.
The Texas law tries to reduce the number of accidents as much as possible, so drunk driving is totally illegal in the state. Drunk driving is illegal in other states too, but the laws around that crime change a bit.
Drivers are allowed to have a certain level of alcohol concentration in their blood while driving since that max content is often not dangerous for the driver or other drivers on the street.
Things change a bit when talking about underage drinking. Underaged drivers have different restrictions for the BAC they can have while driving.
This page has all the information anyone would need on the matter, so people shouldn't hesitate to read it to make sure they stay away from trouble.
The Sparks Law Firm can help anyone who needs assistance in a drunk driving case, personal injury lawsuit, or other legal matters. Clients can call it now to schedule a free consultation with one of its lawyers.
What Is the Texas Legal Alcohol Limit for Drivers Under the Age of 21?
Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for minors driving under the influence. They don't have a maximum blood alcohol level, so even having 0.01% of alcohol in their system while driving is already a crime. That applies to any other crimes related to alcohol.
In a nutshell, there's no legal alcohol limit for drivers under 21, as they are not allowed to drink anything at all.
The state will revoke their driver's license if they are caught drunk driving, and that includes any other driving privileges.
It's worth noting that minors can drink alcohol in Texas as long as the minor's adult parent is there to watch them do it. However, they can't do it and then drive, even if their parents are with them.
Selling alcohol to a minor is a class-A misdemeanor, so the police will most likely look for the person selling it to underage drivers.
Different Methods to Measure Blood Alcohol Concentration
There are different ways to measure BAC. The most common one is a breath test or breathalyzer test.
Breathalyzer tests use the driver's breath to measure the alcohol vapor there. This product uses an orange solution that turns green when the driver has alcohol in their body.
Police officers often use breathalyzers to measure BAC, as it's the fastest method and they can use it on the street. They can charge drivers with a DUI if they are legally intoxicated.
Regardless of that, some police officers ask drivers their preferred way to measure their blood alcohol level. If they don't want to use the breathalyzer, they can go for urine samples or blood samples.
While breathalyzer tests are effective to measure BAC faster than others, it's not the most effective method police officers can use for the job. Blood samples are the most accurate method to measure blood alcohol concentration, and people often use it for more important drunk driving cases.
Drivers can also try different alternatives to see if they have the same result.
Getting a DWI conviction is not something to take lightly, so police officers will make sure the methods they use to measure drivers don't exceed the legal alcohol limit are accurate.
Can Breathalyzer Tests Fail?
Breath tests can fail. That doesn't mean they will always fail but rather that they can be inaccurate at times. This situation can worsen if the team in charge of the maintenance of these devices doesn't calibrate it often and see it works as it should.
These tests are accurate 40% of the time approximately, which means the number of false positives innocent people get is now low. No one deserves to get a DWI conviction or lose their driver's license if they didn't exceed Texas's legal alcohol limit for drivers.
If someone gets a false positive, they can hire a lawyer to avoid a DWI conviction. However, the lawyer will need to build a case and find evidence that shows the court the test failed.
Victims of a false positive can contact the Sparks Law Firm to take their drunk driving case.
Regardless of that, the best drivers can do if a police officer wants to check if they exceed the alcohol legal limit is to go for a blood test. They can fail, too, but they are the most accurate option they can try.
What Are the Penalties for Drunk Driving?
The penalties for drunk driving vary depending on the blood alcohol concentration the driver shows, the circumstances in which they got caught, and the number of offenses they've had in the past.
Any underage driver found under the influence of alcohol while driving will have to pay a $500 fine and a 30-180 suspension of their driver's license. First-time underage DUIs are a class-C misdemeanor.
The court may also ask underage drivers to do 20 to 40 hours of community service. In some cases, minors are charged as adults when they get involved in an alcohol-related case, but everything depends on the judge.
Drunk driving is a class-B misdemeanor for adults.
First offenders have to spend 180 days in jail or pay a fine that can go up to $2,000. They will also get a driver's license suspension of 90 days.
Second offenders will be up to one year in jail or pay a $4,000 (or less) fine.
While a first offense is a class-B misdemeanor, getting too many DWIs can make the next one a felony.
Penalties keep worsening the more the driver keeps breaking Texas law.
What Injuries Can People Get for Drunk Driving?
Driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage that makes the driver exceed the alcohol legal limit is dangerous because it makes them lose their mental or physical faculties.
That makes them incapable of staying aware of everything that happens on the street.
Apart from the legal penalties of exceeding the alcohol legal limit, such as jail time or driver's license suspension, the worst consequence of drunk driving is the injuries the driver can get.
Drunk drivers are dangerous to everyone on the street, and getting into an accident can cost a lot of things to all the parties involved.
These are a few of the main injuries drunk drivers can get in a car accident:
Spinal cord injuries
Traumatic brain injuries
What Should Victims of a Car Accident for Drunk Driving Do?
The first thing people should do after being part of a car accident is to get to a safe place. After that, they should get the personal information of the other driver if they caused the accident due to drunk driving.
Even if they didn't exceed the alcohol legal limit, victims can file a personal injury lawsuit against them if they caused the accident due to their negligence.
However, if they did exceed the alcohol legal limit, the results of the test can be evidence in a future trial.
Once they have the personal information of the other driver, the victim can call our Fort Worth DWI law firm to schedule a free consultation with it.
The lawyer that goes to the consultation will tell them the chances they have of winning the case and the things they should do to do it.
Lawyers know DWI laws perfectly, so they will know what to do if an underage driver caused an accident.
Filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver will give victims the opportunity to get financial compensation for what happened.
Why Should People Hire the Sparks Law Firm?
The Sparks Law Firm is one of the best options people can go for if they need legal assistance. You contact them for other questions like, "Is delta 9 legal in Texas?"
Once someone schedules a free consultation with these professionals, they will put a qualified and experienced lawyer on the case. They will do everything they can to win it.
Even if clients don't hire them for a specific case, this law firm can also explain Texas laws to anyone who needs it. That includes how DWI convictions work and the penalties for drunk driving.
What Is the BAC Limit for Adult Drivers?
While underage drivers can't drive with any detectable amount of alcohol concentration in their system, adults can do it with a BAC limit of 0.08%.
That doesn't apply to drivers with a commercial driver's license, though. Commercial drivers have an alcohol legal limit of 0.04%, and legal repercussions can be a bit more severe for them.
This blood alcohol content limit is for any type of motor vehicle, so it doesn't matter the vehicle people drive, as long as BAC tests show they were under the influence of a controlled substance.
Final Thoughts - The Sparks Law Firm Is Ready to Help
Underage drivers can't drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their bodies, and they could get charged as adults if they do it.
No one wants to face jail time at that age, it's better to avoid drinking while driving at all. The same happens with adult drivers since they also put others in danger if they drink and drive. Sparks Law Firm can also answer questions like, "What is the legal drinking age in Texas with parents?"
However, if anyone has any questions about drunk driving-related laws or other legal matters, they can contact the Sparks Law Firm to help them out. Its website has more information about its practice areas and all the services it offers.
This law firm offers free consultations to all its clients.