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Updated: May 1, 2023 @ 5:54 pm

Minors and Drinking: The Law

Minors who consume, purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess alcoholic beverages, including minors who are intoxicated in public or lie about their age to obtain alcoholic beverages, can face a variety of consequences.

Underage Possession

If you’re a minor (under age 21) and charged with possession of alcohol you can face the following penalties:

  • A fine up to $500
  • 30 to 180 days suspension of your driver’s license
  • 8 to 10 hours of community service
  • Alcohol awareness classes
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The charge of possession of alcohol can be for any amount of beer or liquor found in the minor’s possession. A second or third offense can lead to the suspension of the minor’s Texas Driver License for 60 to 180 days.

If the second or third offense is by a minor that’s 17 years of age or older, the offense is punishable by a fine of $250 to $2,000, a county jail sentence of up to 180 days, or a combination of both. The automatic license revocation process will be initiated on a third conviction.

If the minor has previous alcohol-related convictions, their license will be suspended for one year if non-compliant with the requirement to attend the alcohol awareness classes.

Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor

Minors commit the offense of misrepresenting their age if they falsely state that they are age 21 or older, or if they present any document that indicates they are 21 years of age or older to a person engaged in the business of selling or serving of alcohol.

Punishment for misrepresentation of age is a Class C misdemeanor that’s punishable by a fine up to $500. If it’s a second or third offense, the punishment is more severe, imposing community service and license suspension.

Underage Consumption

Minors commit the offense of consumption of alcohol by a minor if they consume an alcoholic beverage. Such an offense is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor and a fine up to $500. If it’s a second or third offense, the punishment is more severe and may include community service and possible license suspension.

Providing Alcohol to a Minor

The punishment for providing or selling alcohol to a minor is a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $4,000, a Galveston County Jail sentence of up to a year, or both. Furnishing alcohol to a minor may also result in the automatic suspension of your Texas Driver License for up to 180 days.

A parent, legal guardian or spouse may provide alcohol to their child or spouse as long as they are present when the minor possesses or consumes it.

Legal Representation Matters

If you’re under the age of 21, or a parent, and you’re seeking legal representation for an alcohol-related offense in Galveston County, it’s important to understand your rights and the potential legal ramifications. Likewise, if you have criminal charges related to providing alcohol to a minor, you’ll need representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

We provide free consultations and initial case reviews. Get started on your defense by calling 409-765-5614.

Galveston Criminal Defense Lawyer

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