If you have a teen, you can expect him or her to test the boundaries while learning how to be independent of your guidance and rules, especially if your child is planning to leave for college soon. While the freedom of having a driver’s license and perhaps some spending money may entice some students to shirk certain “adulting” behaviors, it may draw others to take chances they wouldn’t take under the watchful eyes of their parents. Often this involves alcohol.
Alcohol consumption frequently leads to reckless or dangerous behavior, and Texas laws for underage drinking are quite strict, especially when it comes to driving under the influence. If your child is facing a DUI or other alcohol-related charges, you may want to learn as much as possible about what this may mean for the future.
What your teen may not realize is that the minimum blood alcohol concentration for drivers under 21 is considerably lower than for those of legal drinking age. In fact, instead of .08, underage drinkers may not have any detectable alcohol in their system, not even one beer. While the BAC may be different for younger drivers, they may still face the same penalties drivers over age 21 face. This includes the potential for fines, license suspension, probation or even jail, among other costly consequences.
Unfortunately, your child may also face some of the following serious results of an underage drinking or DUI conviction:
- Some colleges and universities will not accept students with criminal records or may even expel students who are enrolled.
- A DUI or underage drinking conviction may be a disqualifying factor for certain scholarships
- Your child may be ineligible to pursue certain degrees, certificates or courses of study with a conviction on record.
- Your child may have difficulty looking for work or getting a job with a long-term license suspension.
- A conviction may hinder your child’s job search since it will likely come to light during a background check.
- If your child’s arrest involved the use of a fake ID, he or she may have additional charges to face.
Your child’s future is important to you, and while you hope he or she learns a valuable lesson, you likely do not want that lesson to damage your child’s aspirations for the future. This is why it is wise for parents to seek trustworthy advice about the best course of action for defending against charges of underage drinking.