When a college student makes a mistake involving alcohol, it can potentially lead to serious legal consequences. Underage drinking is always a crime, and Texas college students caught engaging in this behavior face fines, penalties and consequences from their college or university.
If you are facing charges related to underage drinking, it is important to act quickly to protect your rights and interests. It is possible to mitigate some of the consequences that can follow these types of criminal charges, but you should not do it alone. With help, you can protect your reputation, your college career and your future job opportunities.
The steep penalties for underage drinking in Texas
Texas takes a strong stance against underage drinking and providing alcohol to a minor. There are a few different types of charges associated with underage drinking, and they are as follows:
Underage drinking: This is a Class C misdemeanor crime, and a conviction will come with the following penalties:
- Fines up to $500
- Alcohol awareness class
- Eight to 40 hours community service
- 30 to 180 days of loss of driver's license
Providing alcohol to a minor: This is a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction will bring penalties that may include the following:
- Fines up to $4,000
- Up to one year in jail
- Loss of driver's license for 180 days
Zero tolerance law: Underage drivers caught with any discernible amount of alcohol in their system will face serious penalties. The severity of the consequences depends on that person's drunk driving history, but penalties can include:
- Time in jail
- Loss of driving privileges
- Mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness class
- Community service
In addition to the legal consequences associated with underage drinking, it is possible that offenders could face loss of scholarships, removal from student organizations, a probationary period or expulsion from their higher learning institutions.