What is DUI and its potential punishment?
Before 1983, DUI meant driving under the influence of drugs or narcotics, but now it only pertains to minors. In Texas, it is never permissible for minors to have any alcohol in their body and drive. DUI punishment as a result of a charge does not require proof of impairment; rather, it requires only a showing that there was a detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s body.
A DUI conviction is a class C misdemeanor that may result in a fine up to $500; 20 to 40 hours of community service; and required attendance of an alcohol awareness program, a drug education program, or a drug and alcohol driving awareness program. If the program is not completed, the court shall order the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to suspend or deny the issuance of the minor’s driver’s license for a period not to exceed 6 months. No incarceration may be assessed upon conviction for this type of misdemeanor.
A peace officer is not required to take a minor into custody for DUI but may issue a citation to the minor that contains written notice of the time and place the minor must appear in court, and the offense charged.