What Are the Penalties for New Jersey Underage Drinking

A few weeks ago, this blog discussed the case of six individuals who reportedly were caught with fake New Jersey IDs at a country music concert. Although, many people under the age of 21 consume alcoholic beverages every day, it is still quite illegal in New Jersey for those under 21 to consume, possess or purchase alcohol. This blog post will give a quick summary of various New Jersey laws regarding underage drinking.

Any person under the age of 21 who engages in the purchasing, consumption or possession of alcohol is subject to a $500 fine and a suspension of their driver’s license for six months. The license suspension takes effect immediately after conviction for those with driver’s licenses. For those who do not have licenses yet, the suspension takes effect after the person is first eligible to receive a license.

New Jersey has what it calls a zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving. If a person under the age of 21 is found to have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system, they could be sentenced to 15 to 30 days of community service. They also face a 30- to 90-day suspension of their driving privileges and could be required to participate in an alcohol and traffic safety program.

These punishments are bad enough for busy young people in New Jersey, who need to have a driver’s license to get around. It should also be remembered that a conviction for underage drinking offenses could have an adverse effect on job prospects and college admissions. People facing accusations of underage drinking can speak to a New Jersey defense attorney about their options.

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