Texas, unfortunately, has one of the highest numbers of accidents and deaths related to driving under the influence (DUI). According to one estimate, about 2,000 people die annually because of automobile accidents related to DUI. Therefore, to prevent these unwanted tragedies, Texas DUI laws are some of the most stringent in the country. The state has a zero-tolerance policy towards underage drinking. Any detectible blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level in those under 21 years of age is a crime. For those who are at least 21 years of age, the acceptable BAC level is less than 0.08%.
For those who are under 21 years of age, the following acts are considered illegal in the state of Texas:
- Public intoxication
- Alcohol consumption
- Alcohol possession
- Age misrepresentation
- Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol
Those who are found to be involved in any of the abovementioned activities may have their driving privileges suspended for 30 days (first offence), 60 days (second offence) and 180 days (third offence). They may also be made to attend an Alcohol Awareness Course.
For drivers who are at least 21 years of age who have a BAC level of 0.08% or above may be penalized with the following if it is their first offence:
- A fine up to $2,000
- Driving privileges suspension for up to one year
- Maximum of six months behind bars
- Annual fine of $1,000 for three years
If it is the second DUI related offence, then:
- A maximum of $4,000 fine
- Driving privileges suspension for a maximum of 2 years
- A maximum of one year behind bars
- Annual fine of $1,500 for three years
If it is the third DUI offence, then:
- A maximum fine of $10,000
- Driving privileges suspension for up to 2 years
- A minimum of 2 to maximum of 10 years behind bars
- Annual fine of $2,000 for three years
It is probably safer not to drink and drive at all. If 21 years of age or older, make sure you stay within an acceptable BAC level to avoid the heavy penalties imposed by the state.