Understanding Texas’s Underage Drinking Laws


Texas, like other states, has a minimum legal drinking age of 21 years.  If you’re under age 21 and have been charged with possession of alcohol, you may face strict penalties if you’re convicted.  Drinking while under age 21, public drunkenness, and lying about your age or using a fake ID to buy alcohol may also be charged under Texas minor in possession laws.

The penalties for being convicted of possessing or consuming alcohol while under age 21 include:

  • Up to $500 in fines,
  • Mandatory alcohol awareness classes,
  • 8 to 40 hours community service, and
  • Loss of driving privileges for up to 180 days.

For some Texas minors facing a minor in possession charge, the process is not a new one.  Texas law increases the penalties for a third minor in possession charge if the person is 17 years of age or older.  In addition to the penalties listed above, these increased penalties include:

  • Up to $2,000 in fines,
  • Up to 180 days in jail, and
  • Mandatory loss of driving privileges.

Adults who provide alcoholic beverages to minors also face penalties if they are convicted under Texas law.  Summer is full of opportunities to enjoy parties and other events, but if alcohol is not handled carefully at these events, both adults and minors may find themselves facing criminal charges.  These situations are often confusing for everyone involved, and figuring out what really happened – and who is responsible – can be tough.  Talk to an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney to help you protect your legal rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

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