It is widely known that it is illegal for anyone to drink and drive in the state of New Jersey. This obviously includes those who are not even the legal drinking age. When a driver under the age of 21 is found operating a vehicle while they are intoxicated, they can be charged with an underage DWI. In these situations, the state of New Jersey imposes serious consequences on the individual that can impact them for the rest of their life. If you were charged with an underage DWI, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced New Jersey DWI defense attorney for assistance.
New Jersey Zero Tolerance Law
There is a zero-tolerance law in New Jersey that ensures those who drink and drive are held responsible for their actions. If an underage driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.01% and 0.08% while operating a vehicle, they can receive an underage DWI charge from New Jersey law enforcement. Usually, these cases are heard in the municipal court. However, it is important to note that underage drivers who have a BAC over 0.08% can be charged as an adult and face the same DWI penalties as that of an of age driver.
Penalties of an Underage DWI
When an underage driver receives a DWI charge, the consequences they face can vary depending on the nature of the offense. This can include their BAC as well as if they have any prior offenses. The driver will usually be subject to the following:
- License suspension: The individual’s driver’s license can be suspended by the state for 30 to 90 days. Teenagers with a probationary license are required to complete a four-hour remedial driving course without the possibility of receiving a basic driver’s license for one year. If the driver has a learner’s permit, they must complete the four-hour class and face an additional 90 days suspension. Subsequent DWI offenses can result in further license suspensions or revocations.
- Community service: Underage DWI offenders can be ordered by the court to complete 15 to 30 days of community service.
- Treatment: All underage DWI offenders are required to complete the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program or a similarly approved rehabilitation program. The IDRC will conduct an evaluation and interview before referring the driver to a treatment level that is appropriate for them. This level is based on the evaluation, the individual’s driving record, and their BAC at the time of the violation.
Contact our Firm
Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.