What is the legal BAC limit for someone who is under 21 years of age?

What is the legal BAC limit for someone who is under 21 years of age?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Most drivers know the basic legal Blood Alcohol Concentration limit for drivers is a mere 0.08%. That does not mean that a person who is under that BAC can’t get a DWI — because they certainly can. It’s just that drivers who stay under that limit don’t meet the automatic definition of “drunk” and law enforcement can’t just assume they’re impaired.

That being said, the legal drinking age is 21 years of age. As many high school and college students know well, this law is not always followed. If someone who is under 21 years of age has been drinking and gets pulled over, do they have the same 0.08% limit or is there another one for them? 

The normal BAC limit does not apply to those under legal drinking age

If you’re in this age group, forget everything you know about the normal legal limit for drivers. It does not apply until you turn 21 years of age, thanks to the Zero Tolerance laws in Texas. They state that a “minor” can get a DWI if there is any alcohol in their system. If it can be detected on the test, they can be arrested. 

Is this fair? Many would argue that it is not, as that driver may not be impaired at all and may not even feel as if they’ve been drinking. They don’t consider themselves a danger on the roads. However, Texas is very strict about these types of crimes, so the law states that no alcohol consumption is allowed and any evidence is enough for serious charges. 

A DWI conviction at a young age can be life-altering. It’s crucial that young people and their parents understand their legal options for a good defense.