What Are the Penalties for Underage Drinking in New Jersey

Residents in New Jersey understand that minors could endure different penalties than adults accused of the same crime. While a juvenile crime could carry different punishments, the consequences are often still the same. Criminal charges could cause the defendant to carry a criminal background with them the rest of their life. This could damage their reputation and impact their personal and professional life. With regards to drunk driving, no matter the age of the driver, they could face serious fines, penalties and license suspension. The penalties associated with underage drinking could be very serious no matter the defendant’s age, and those accused of it in New Jersey should understand these consequences so they could better defend their rights.

No matter the age of the driver, being accused of an underage DUI could result in serious penalties. In some cases, this is considered a juvenile crime. Even when it falls underneath juvenile delinquency, if the crime is considered more serious or there are multiple offenses on the juvenile’s record, they could be treated as an adult or face harsher punishments.

If a driver is under the age of 21 and are convicted of driving with a blood alcohol content of .01 or higher, they could have their license suspended. This could last for 30 days up to 90 days. Depending on circumstances, the suspension could even be longer. The details of the situation and the individual crime also determine the amount the driver will be fined. The state of New Jersey has DUI mandatory fines and penalties, and this will determine the fines the accused driver could face.

An underage DUI also results in mandatory community service for 15 to 30 days. Furthermore, if the driver is convicted, they are required to participate in an alcohol education and highway safety program. Lastly, if the driver is either under the age of 17 and is unlicensed, they will also be subjected to a 30 to 90 day delay in his or her driver’s license processing.

Because underage drinking carries serious penalties for the accused driver, it is important to take the situation seriously. This also means educating themselves with defense options. Devising a defense strategy could help them reduce or drop the charges against them, thus reducing or preventing consequences that could greatly impact their life.

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