In order to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol in the State of New Jersey, you must be 21 years of age or older. When a teen fails to comply with this law, he or she is at risk of being fined $500 and having their driver’s license suspended for six months. In the event a teen is caught under the influence of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle, the penalties only increase in severity.
In the event your teenager was recently pulled over and charged for underage drinking and driving in Jersey City, you are going to want to consult with a Jersey City, NJ criminal defense attorney who can explain what your teen’s legal rights are, the charges he or she is facing, and the penalties those charges carry. In an effort to help you understand how teens are punished for underage drinking and driving, below we have outlined what some of the potential consequences are for a teen who has been caught committing this offense.
Consequences for Underage Drinking in NJ
Although the legal limit of alcohol you can have in your system while driving is .08% if you are 21 years of age or older, the law speaks differently to teens. The State of New Jersey enforces what is called the zero-tolerance law which means that any detectable amount of alcohol found in a teen’s system could result in criminal charges being imposed. N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14 says, if a teen driver is found operating a vehicle with a .01 BAC, blood alcohol concentration level, they shall be convicted of violating New Jersey’s zero-tolerance law and the penalties for doing so are as follows:
- The teen will lose their driving privileges for 30 to 90 days or if the teen is not yet licensed, the penalties will be postponed until the time he or she receives their license.
- The teen will have to spend 15 to 30 days performing community service.
- They will be required to participate in an alcohol and traffic safety education program.
Now, it is important that you recognize that your teen could be faced with additional penalties aside from those highlighted above but it all depends on the circumstances surrounding the offense.
Anytime a teen is charged with any type of criminal offense, it is essential to retain a criminal defense attorney in Jersey City, NJ who can help defend their rights and potentially minimize the consequences and future impact. Teens often don’t realize the impact a criminal or DWI charge can have on their record until the time comes for them to apply for a job. So, to reduce the chances of your teen being hit with the maximum penalties, contact The Law Office of Eric M. Mark today to speak with a skilled defense attorney who can help your teen fight the charges he or she has had filed against them.
The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is located at:
Jersey City Office
121 Newark Avenue, Suite 515
Jersey City, NJ 07302