Tobacco Use by Minor
Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

SUBCHAPTER N. TOBACCO USE BY MINORS

 

§ 161.252. Possession, Purchase, Consumption, or Receipt of Cigarettes or Tobacco Products by Minors Prohibited

 

(a) An individual who is younger than 18 years of age commits an offense if the individual:

(1) possesses, purchases, consumes, or accepts a cigarette or tobacco product; or

 

(2) falsely represents himself or herself to be 18 years of age or older by displaying proof of age that is false, fraudulent, or not actually proof of the individual's own age in order to obtain possession of, purchase, or receive a cigarette or tobacco product.

 

(b) It is an exception to the application of this section that the individual younger than 18 years of age possessed the cigarette or tobacco product in the presence of:

 

(1) an adult parent, a guardian, or a spouse of the individual; or

 

(2) an employer of the individual, if possession or receipt of the tobacco product is required in the performance of the employee's duties as an employee.

 

(c) It is an exception to the application of this section that the individual younger than 18 years of age is participating in an inspection or test of compliance in accordance with Section 161.088.

 

(d) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine not to exceed $250.

 

§ 161.253. Tobacco Awareness Program; Community Service

(a) On conviction of an individual for an offense under Section 161.252, the court shall suspend execution of sentence and shall require the defendant to attend a tobacco awareness program approved by the commissioner. The court may require the parent or guardian of the defendant to attend the tobacco awareness program with the defendant.

 

(b) On request, a tobacco awareness program may be taught in languages other than English.

 

(c) If the defendant resides in a rural area of this state or another area of this state in which access to a tobacco awareness program is not readily available, the court shall require the defendant to perform eight to 12 hours of tobacco-related community service instead of attending the tobacco awareness program.

 

(d) The tobacco awareness program and the tobacco-related community service are remedial and are not punishment.

 

(e) Not later than the 90th day after the date of a conviction under Section 161.252, the defendant shall present to the court, in the manner required by the court, evidence of satisfactory completion of the tobacco awareness program or the tobacco-related community service.

 

(f) On receipt of the evidence required under Subsection (e), the court shall:

 

(1) if the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense under Section 161.252, execute the sentence, and at the discretion of the court, reduce the fine imposed to not less than half the fine previously imposed by the court; or

 

(2) if the defendant has not been previously convicted of an offense under Section 161.252, discharge the defendant and dismiss the complaint or information against the defendant.

(g) If the court discharges the defendant under Subsection (f)(2), the defendant is released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense except that the defendant is considered to have been convicted of the offense if the defendant is subsequently convicted of an offense under Section 161.252 committed after the dismissal under Subsection (f)(2).

 

§ 161.254. Driver's License Suspension or Denial

  (a) If the defendant does not provide the evidence required under Section 161.253(e) within the period specified by that subsection, the court shall order the Department of Public Safety to suspend or deny issuance of any driver's license or permit to the defendant. The order must specify the period of the suspension or denial, which may not exceed 180 days after the date of the order.

 

(b) The Department of Public Safety shall send to the defendant notice of court action under Subsection (a) by first class mail. The notice must include the date of the order and the reason for the order and must specify the period of the suspension or denial.

 

161.255. Expungement of Conviction

  An individual convicted of an offense under Section 161.252 may apply to the court to have the conviction expunged. If the court finds that the individual satisfactorily completed the tobacco awareness program or tobacco-related community service ordered by the court, the court shall order the conviction and any complaint, verdict, sentence, or other document relating to the offense to be expunged from the individual's record and the conviction may not be shown or made known for any purpose.

 

 


< Return to previous page