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While receiving a charge for driving under the influence when an individual is under 21 can be an overwhelming experience, know that you do not have to face it alone. A weathered Midland underage DUI lawyer can offer you their assistance by gathering evidence, interviewing professional witnesses, and creating a strong defense strategy on your behalf. Read on to learn more about how a dedicated defense attorney could make a difference in your case today.
Midland Underage DUI Laws
In Texas, there is a specific statute dealing with individuals under 21 known as DUIM, or driving under the influence by a minor. When an individual is over 21, it is not illegal to have something to drink and then to drive a vehicle as long as the individual is not intoxicated. That is not true when someone is under 21, as they are not allowed to have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.
A minor could be charged with DUIM even if they are not intoxicated. If they have some alcohol in their system and fail the breath test while behind the wheel, an officer could give them a DUIM. It is important to know that a minor can also be charged with a regular DWI if their BAC level is above .08. In these instances, it is significant to retain representation from a skilled Midland underage DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
If an individual under 21 is charged with a DUIM, then that is considered a Class C misdemeanor in Texas. This means that the offense does not risk any jail time, but could result in a maximum fine of up to $500 as well as the loss of one’s driver’s license for a period of time. When an individual is arrested or ticketed for DUIM, they have two cases.
If their driver’s license is confiscated, they still have the rights to contest and fight that confiscation with the help of a skilled defense attorney. Their DUIM will be filed in the Midland Municipal Court or the Justice and Peace courts Midland County Courthouse. While going to court can be a daunting experience, a qualified Midland underage DUI lawyer can guide a minor through the necessary procedures so that they can know what to expect before their hearing.
Police officers may use several types of sobriety tests to determine impairment in a driver under 21. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test involves the officer examining the driver’s eyes while under a light. If the driver’s eyes twitch at a particular angle, the officer could use that as evidence to show the driver was not sober.
An officer could also use a portable breath test that the minor would have to blow into in order to determine their BAC levels. In addition, if an officer simply smells alcohol on the minor’s breath, that testimony would be enough to be able to arrest them for a DUIM charge. Know that an experienced Midland underage DUI lawyer could assist a minor after these events through aggressive representation in court.
If you wish to fight against your charges, do not hesitate to contact a seasoned Midland underage DUI lawyer today for your representation.