While it is preferable to think that an adult child will never be in a position to face a DUI or DWI charge, it is a sobering reality that more than 40 percent of college students binge drink. As a parent, you may want to consider having a serious conversation with your student that discusses the dangers of drinking and what to do if they find themselves in a scenario that has gotten out of control.
This conversation is likely to be uncomfortable but could be incredibly important if your student ever needs the knowledge you could provide.
Texas policy on drunk driving
Texas has a Zero Tolerance Law for individuals under 21. People under the legal drinking age cannot operate a vehicle even if they’ve had an extremely small amount of alcohol. The penalties are steep.
Texas is strict on DWIs for individuals above the legal drinking age as well. Penalties range, depending on if it is a first time, repeat offense or aggravated offense. Driving while intoxicated is a serious crime, and the justice system treats it as such.
Talking points with your young adult
- What happens to the body when alcohol enters it? It affects your ability to multitask, which is essential while driving. The driver needs to be able to track the cars in other lanes while maintaining an accurate path in their own. They also need to be alert and aware. Alcohol dulls the senses. It causes blurred vision. Also, it slows reaction times.
- With a decent amount of food ingested, it typically takes about an hour to absorb one drink. But things like body weight factor in, so it’s never entirely safe to drink and drive even with that standard rule.
- Texas operates under an implied consent law, which means that getting behind the wheel of the car means they have already agreed to take a breathalyzer test.
- They can refuse a field sobriety test; however, the prosecutor may bring this up in court as evidence of intoxication.
Other points of note
If your college student does face a DUI or DWI charge, it is important for you to act quickly. In Texas, they have only fifteen days to request a driver’s license suspension hearing. Otherwise your child could lose their independent mobility for at least six months.