Texas Underage Drinking Laws

Texas’ Laws Concerning Underage Drinking

Texas Transportation Code
§ 521.451(a) Possession / Use of Altered Driver License
§ 521.453(a) Possession of Fake Driver License
Texas Penal Code
§ 37.10 Tampering with Governmental Records
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code
§ 106.02 Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor
§ 106.03 Sale to Minors
§ 106.04 Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor
§ 106.041 Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor
§ 106.05 Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
§ 106.06 Purchase of Alcohol for a Minor
Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor
§ 106.07 Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor
§ 106.071 Punishment for Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor
§ 106.08 Importation of Alcohol by a Minor
§ 106.11 Parent or Guardian at Trial
§ 106.115 Attendance at Alcohol Awareness Course
License Suspension
§ 106.12 Expungement of Conviction of a Minor

Texas Transportation Code

§ 521.451(a) Possession / Use of Altered Driver License
A person commits an offense if they:
• show or posses a driver license or certificate that they know to be fake or altered
• show or represent as their own a driver license not issued to them
Penalty: Class B Misdemeanor (≤ 180 days in jail and/or $2,000 fine)
§ 521.453(a) Possession of Fake Driver License
(a) a minor commits an offense if they posses, with the intent to represent that they are 21 years of age or older, a deceptively similar driver license or ID certificate UNLESS the license displays the statement “NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT” printed in 1/4″ solid red capital letters diagonally on both sides.x

(b) “deceptively similar” means a reasonable person would assume that the fake license presented was genuine.
Penalty: CLASS C Misdemeanor (≤ $500 fine)

Texas Penal Code

§ 37.10 Tampering with Governmental Records
A person commits an offense if they:
• alter a driver license
• makes, presents, possesses, sells, or offers to sell a driver license knowing it was obtained unlawfully or of its falsity.
Penalty: FELONY 3 (2–10 years in prison and/or ≤ $10,000 fine)

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code

§ 106.07 Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor
A minor commits an offense if they falsely represent themselves as being 21 or older to a person selling or serving alcoholic beverages.
Penalty: CLASS C Misdemeanor
≤ $500 fine
8–12 hours of community service
30-day driver license suspension
Alcohol Awareness Course
§ 106.02, 106.025 Purchase / Attempt to Purchase Alcohol by a Minor
A minor commits an offense if they purchase or try to purchase an alcoholic beverage.
Penalty: CLASS C Misdemeanor
≤ $500 fine
8–12 hours of community service
30-day driver license suspensiongavel
Alcohol Awareness Course
§ 106.03 Sale to Alcoholic Beverage to Minors
A person commits an offense if with criminal negligence he sells an alcoholic beverage to a minor.
Penalty: CLASS A Misdemeanor§ 106.04 – Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor
(a–b) A minor commits an offense if they consume alcohol unless they are in the visible presence of, and have the consent of their adult parent, legal guardian, or spouse.

(c) An offense under this section is punishable as provided by §106.071.x

(d) A minor who commits an offense under this section and who has been previously convicted of offenses under this section is not eligible for deferred disposition.

§ 106.041 Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor
(a) A minor commits an offense if they operate a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

(c–e) If the defendant has been previously convicted at least twice of an offense under this section, the offense is punishable by:
• a fine of $500 – $2,000, and/or ≤180 days confinement in jail; and
• perform community service which is related to alcohol misuse and/or prevention
– 20–40 hours, if never convicted of a similar offense
– 40–60 hours, if previously convicted of a similar offense

(f) A minor who commits an offense under this section and who has been previously convicted of offenses under this section is not eligible for deferred disposition.

§ 106.05 Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
(a) A minor commits an offense if they posses an alcoholic beverage.x

(b) A minor may possess an alcoholic beverage:
• while in the course and scope of the minor’s employment if the minor is an employee of a licensee or permitted and the employment is not prohibited by this code
• 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
• if the minor is under the immediate supervision of a commissioned peace officer engaged in enforcing the provisions of this code.x

(c) An offense under this section is punishable as provided by §106.071.

§ 106.06 Purchase / Furnishing of Alcohol to a Minor
(a) A person commits an offense if they provide an alcoholic beverage to a minor.x

(b) An alcoholic beverage may be provided to a minor by that minor’s adult parent, legal guardian, or spouse if they are visibly present when the minor possesses or consumes the alcoholic beverage.x

(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

§ 106.07 Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor
(a) A minor commits an offense if they present a fake/altered driver license or falsely states that they are 21 years of age or older to a person selling or serving alcoholic beverages.x

(b) An offense under this section is punishable as provided by §106.071.

§ 106.071 Punishment for Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor
(a) This section applies to an offense under §106.02, §106.025, §106.04, §106.05, or §106.07.x

(b) An offense to which this section applies is a Class C misdemeanor.x

(c–e) Punishment guidelines:

• a fine of $250–$2,000, and/or ≤180 days in jail; and
• community service related to alcohol misuse and/or prevention for:
– 8–12 hours, if never convicted of a similar offense
– 20–40 hours, if previously convicted of a similar offense
• suspension of driver license for:
– 30 days, if never convicted of a similar offense
– 60 days, if the second offense
– 180 days, if the third or more offense
§ 106.08 Importation of Alcohol by a Minor
A minor may not import or try to import any alcoholic beverage into the state.
§ 106.11 Parent or Guardian at Trial
(a–b) A minor’s parent or legal guardian must be present at all times during the proceedings of the minor’s case.x
x
(c) If the parent or legal guardian resides outside the jurisdiction of the court, the court shall give them written notice of the charge against minor.
§ 106.115 Attendance at Alcohol Awareness Course
§ 106.115 License Suspension
(a) On the placement of a minor on deferred disposition for an offense under §49.02, Penal Code, or under §106.02, §106.025, §106.04, §106.041, §106.05, or §106.07, the court shall require the defendant to attend a TCADA approved alcohol awareness program.

Upon conviction of an offense under one of those sections, the court, shall require attendance to an alcohol awareness program..

If the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense under more than one of those sections, the court may require attendance to the alcohol awareness program.

If the defendant is younger than 18 years of age, the court may also require the parent or guardian of the defendant to attend.

§ 106.12 Expungement of Conviction of a Minor
(a) Persons convicted of not more than one violation of this code may apply to have the conviction removed from their record.

 

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