NEW LAW ENHANCES PENALTIES FOR PROVIDING ALCOHOL TO MINORS
In an effort to curb drinking among minors, Governor Rick Perry today signed a bill into law that increases the penalties for adults who give alcohol to those under 21. House Bill 1357, sponsored by Amarillo Senator Kel Seliger, allows prosecutors to suspend the driver's license of an adult convicted of supplying alcohol to minors for six months for a first offense and up to a year for subsequent offenses. Seliger said that the new law addresses the primary source of alcohol for teenagers. "While much of the focus in recent years has been on kids using fake ID's or other means to gain access to alcohol, research clearly shows they haven't needed anything more than a willing friend or relative to become a teenage drinker," he said.
The new penalty will enhance the current statute, which makes providing alcohol to minors a class A misdemeanor punishable by jail time or fines. Seliger added that he hopes the new law will help cut down on instances of drunk driving and binge drinking among teenagers. "This is something of a definitive standard in that it's a considerable penalty, and any adult in the state of Texas needs to think carefully about this, the most avoidable of transgressions, and think about what it means to give a minor some alcohol," said Seliger.