Teen's rights are being violated according to one local attorney. It's called DUI minor. If a teenager is pulled over and an officer smells alcohol they can receive a citation, lose their license or have a DUI on their permanent record.
Amarillo attorney Walt Weaver says it's an unfair penalty that can follow a teen the rest of their life. That's one reason Weaver is seeing an increase in his cliental, "I've seen a big increase of minor dui. You aren't necessarily under the influence but that's what they call it".
Seventeen year old Louis Arend says he had a runin with the law a few months ago. He describes his situation as unfair but a life lesson. "That's what happened to me I got pulled over and there was no cause. They had no right and I didn't know my rights. I went to jail and I'm paying the consequences," Arend said.
Captain Roger Short says any alcohol on any teen is against the law and needs to be enforced. "The law was enacted to make the roads safer. Keep the kids off the streets drinking no matter what."
Weaver agrees with enforcing the law but says the consequences are in unfair. "The ramification of the child's future. You have child try and get a job... Enlist in the marines to be an officer. The record reflects a DWI, but it's not. It's not a DUI but that's what our legislators call it," Weaver explains.