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Texas visitors and residents, what do you know about beach laws?

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Here in Angleton, we’re less than an hour from ocean attractions such as the shoreline of Surfside Beach. That means residents and vacationers have easy access to a fun beach scene.

Texas allows some beach activities that are not lawful in several other states, such as consuming alcohol (although only at certain times of the day). However, you can still face criminal charges if you violate state and local laws.

Drinking and driving

Many Texas beaches permit licensed vehicles, but state DUI laws apply there, just as they do on roadways. Beaches are patrolled by law enforcement, and if they catch you driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could face harsh penalties. A first-offense DUI can be punishable by a jail sentence and thousands of dollars in fines.

Possessing, using or selling cannabis

A particular risk for vacationers from weed-friendly areas is having marijuana on the beach or anywhere else. Unlike many states, Texas has not embraced the concept of legal recreational cannabis. A violation of state marijuana laws could compromise your freedom and lead to costly fines.

Breaking traffic laws

Texas beaches that permit vehicles have laws in place to protect other beachgoers. For example, the speed limit on most state beaches is only 15 miles per hour. Driving faster than that or committing another moving violation will result in a ticket and a legal headache, at the very least.

Take advantage of the state’s relatively lenient beach rules and have a great time, but stay informed about what is and is not permitted. If you get in trouble with the law while enjoying a local beach, seek authoritative information about your defense options as soon as possible.