Alcohol Offenses

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ALCOHOL OFFENSES

  1. You don't have to be holding a beer to get arrested for Minor in Possession of Alcohol. "Possession" under Texas law means knowingly having control or management over an item. It is not necessary that you actually have the beverage on you. If a beer is found in your car or truck you might be found in possession. If you are found with an alcoholic beverage within reach, say, sitting on a table, you might be found to be in possession. Possession depends on the facts of each case. Unfortunately, there is no simple, bright-line rule.
  2. You don't have to be found in possession of an alcoholic beverage at all in order to get arrested for Minor in Comsumption of Alcohol. Texas makes its illegal for a minor to consume alcohol outside the presence of a parent, guardian or spouse. You can pick up a Minor in Consumption of Alcohol charge if you encounter a cop and he notes any detectable amount of alcohol in your system at all.
  3.  MIP and MIC can carry some serious consequences. Even though these offense are punishable by fine only, they can result in you losing your driver's license, as well as having to perform community service hours and having to complete court-ordered classes.
  4. You can get arrested for DUI even if you aren't drunk. In Texas, a person commits a DUI if he is a minor and operates a motor vehicle when the person has any detectable amount of alcohol in his system. This is different than a DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, which is committed when any person operates a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated.
  5. Being drunk in public doesn't automatically make you guilty of Public Intoxication in Texas. In order for a person to be guilty of Public Intoxication, he must not only be intoxicated in a public place, but intoxicated to a degree and in circumstances in which he might pose a danger to himself or others. A person who is intoxicated and is walking close to a busy intersection, for instance, might be considered a danger to himself. But intoxication alone is not enough.