For as long as you’ve been able to drive, you have known that the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Texas is 0.08%, just like it is in a lot of other states. You also know that you can still, in some cases, get a DWI if you’re under that limit, but that’s the point at which it’s harder to fight the charges since the law presumes that you are intoxicated. No matter how you felt, that reading means you were too impaired to drive.
Now you’re a parent, and you have a teen who is about to start driving. You’ve warned them about drinking and driving, and you’ve explained the BAC limit. But did you really get it right? You may be surprised to learn just how easy it is for a teen to get a DWI.
The impact of zero-tolerance laws
In an effort to stop teen drinking, Texas has enacted zero-tolerance laws. These laws note that the 0.08% limit does not apply and that someone who is under 21 years of age can get a DWI if the test can detect any alcohol. The logic is that a minor shouldn’t have consumed anything anyway, so they’re still seen as impaired.
In practicality, your teen may not actually be impaired. They may not be able to tell they had any alcohol. Say they went to a party, had half of a beer, thought better of it, and drove home. If they got pulled over, they could technically get arrested since that half a beer will show up on a breath test, even if they don’t feel mildly buzzed.
If you and your child are in a situation like this, it’s time to consider your legal defense options to protect their future.