Lubbock Criminal Lawyer for Underage Alcohol Offenses

In Texas, it is illegal for people under the age of 21 to drink, possess, or purchase alcohol. If you are younger than 21 and you use, buy, or try to buy alcohol, a law enforcement officer can arrest you. People who are of legal drinking age can also be arrested for selling or otherwise providing alcohol to people who are under the age of 21. While many people think that underage drinking is no big deal, a conviction in court for any of these criminal charges will appear on your criminal record.

Underage alcohol-related offenses in Texas include:

  • Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor

  • Attempt to Purchase Alcohol by a Minor

  • Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor

  • Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

  • Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

  • Driving or Operating Watercraft Under the Influence of Alcohol by Minor

  • Sale to Minors

  • Purchase of Alcohol for a Minor

  • Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor

  • Public Intoxication by a Minor

If you are facing a criminal charge for underage alcohol offenses in West Texas, contact me today for a free criminal case evaluation.


Who is a Minor?

As used in the section of Texas law that covers underage alcohol offenses, the word “minor” refers to anyone who is younger than 21, since that is the legal drinking age. Therefore, these underage drinking laws apply to people who are 18, 19, and 20, as well as children under the age of 18.

Relevant Statute:

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.01 — Definition of “Minor”


Purchase of Alcohol, Attempt to Purchase Alcohol, or Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor

Texas law makes it illegal for someone under the age of 21 to do any of the following:

  • Purchase an alcoholic beverage;

  • Attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage;

  • Falsely state that they are of legal drinking age to someone serving or selling alcoholic beverages; or

  • Presents any false identification document, such as a fake ID in the form of a driver's license or military identification card, that indicates they are at least 21 years old to someone serving or selling alcoholic beverages.

If a minor commits any of these offenses, they can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.02 — Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.025 — Attempt to Purchase Alcohol by a Minor

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.07 — Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor


Consumption or Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

In Texas, it is a crime if a person under the age of 21 consumes or possesses an alcoholic beverage unless it is consumed or possessed in the visible presence of the minor's adult parent, legal guardian, or spouse. There are several other exceptions to when a minor can consume or possess alcohol, which may be used as a criminal defense if you are a minor who is charged with an offense under these underage consumption and possession laws. Both of these offenses are Class C misdemeanors.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.04 — Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.05 — Possession of Alcohol by a Minor


Driving or Operating Watercraft Under the Influence of Alcohol by Minor

Police officers in Texas can arrest a minor for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by Minor (DUI) if they drive a motor vehicle in a public place or operate a boat when there is any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor's system. DUI is a Class C misdemeanor and a zero tolerance offense, which means that you can be arrested even if you are not intoxicated and you think you are fine to drive.

Relevant Statute:

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.041 — Driving or Operating Watercraft Under the Influence of Alcohol by Minor


Sale to Minors, Purchase of Alcohol for a Minor, and Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor

You can also be arrested for violating underage alcohol statutes if you provide alcohol to minors. This applies even if you are a minor and you provide alcohol to other minors. Under Texas law, it is illegal to sell alcoholic beverages to minors, purchase alcoholic beverages for minors, or make alcoholic beverages available to minors with criminal negligence. This means that college students who throw house parties where alcohol is readily available can be charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor if they do not check IDs.

If you are arrested for any of these offenses, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. However, if you are charged with selling alcohol to a minor and the minor displayed an apparently valid proof of identification that contained a physical description and a photograph that were consistent with the minor's appearance, you can use this as a defense.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.03 — Sale to Minors

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.06 — Purchase of Alcohol for a Minor;  Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor