Alcohol Offenses


  1. You don't have to get caught with a beer in your hand to get a Minor in Possession of Alcohol charge. "Possession" under Texas law means knowingly have care, management or control over an item. You don't actually have to be holding or consuming the beverage. You might be in possession of alcohol if you have a six-pack in a cooler in the back of your pickup. You might be found in possession of alcohol that is sitting in within reach of you at a picnic table. It just depends on the circumstances of your case.
  2. You don't have to be found with alcohol at all to get a Minor in Consumption of Alcohol charge. In Texas, it's illegal for a person under the age of 21 to have consumed alcohol outside of the presence of a parent, guardian, or spouse. If a cop finds you with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system, you may get cited for MIC.
  3. Even though MIP and MIC are fine only misdemeanors, they can carry some serious consequences. MIP and MIC are punishable by a fine of up to $500.00. However, a court could also require you to attend an alcohol awareness class and perform community services hours as part of a punishment. In addition, these types of cases could potentially result in a driver's license suspension.
  4. You don't have to be drunk to get a DUI. In Texas, its illegal for a person who is under 21 to operate a motor vehicle when the person has some detectable amount of alcohol in his system. We call this offense Minor Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, or DUI for short. Unlike the offense of Driving While Intoxicated, which is where a person is intoxicated while driving a motor vehicle, you don't have to be legally drunk to get a DUI. Any detectable amount of alcohol will do. And like MIP and MIC, you could be looking at a possible driver's license suspension.
  5. Believe it or not, being intoxicated in public is not enough to make you guilty of Public Intoxication. A person commits Public Intoxication, not if he is simply intoxicated in a public place, but intoxicated to the degree that he is a danger to himself or other people. A person who is considered intoxicated to a degree that he poses a danger might be someone about to get behind the wheel of a car, for instance. But intoxication alone is not enough.