Austin Underage Drinking: Minor DUI and MIP

It’s no secret that college kids like to drink, especially in a town like Austin, where you have thousands of kids under the legal drinking age of 21 years.  From a legal perspective, the consequences of underage drinking can be harsh.  The most typical types of cases that result from underage drinking are minor driving under the influence (DUI), minor in possession of alcohol (MIP), and consumption of alcohol by a minor (MIC).  This blog is about consequences minors might face if they are convicted of alcohol related offenses.

Every time I sit down with parents and talk to them about their kid’s case, they are surprised to hear the potential consequences their child will face if they are convicted of one of these crimes.  Obviously there will be punishment from the court if they are convicted.  Aside from that, alcohol related offenses can negatively impact future employment opportunities and higher education aspirations.  That’s why it is extremely important to hire an experienced lawyer who can get these cases dismissed. 

In Texas, it is illegal for minors to drive a vehicle with any detectible amount of alcohol in their system.  This means that a minor can be below the legal limit for an adult but still be arrested and charged with DUI.  This means there is ZERO tolerance with alcohol and minors when they are driving a vehicle.  This offense is a Class “C” misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500.00, alcohol awareness classes, 20-40 hours of community service, and a suspension of their drivers license.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol is defined under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code (TABC) and it states that a minor commits an offense if they possess an alcoholic beverage.  This offense is a Class “C” misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500.00.  If the minor has two prior convictions, then the punishment is a fine between $250.00 and $2,000.00 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days.  It is an affirmative defense if the minor is in the visible presence of his adult parent, guardian, or spouse, or other adult to whom the minor has been committed by a court.

A minor commits this offense if he consumes an alcoholic beverage.  It is an affirmative defense if the minor is in the visible presence of his adult parent, guardian, or spouse, or other adult to whom the minor has been committed by a court.  This offense is a Class “C” misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500.00.