Penalties for underage drinking and driving in New Jersey

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Parents of teenagers in New Jersey know that their children do not always make the best decisions. In fact, it may seem that their children are constantly testing their boundaries and doing things they shouldn’t. Although most bad decisions don’t land a teenager in jail, driving after drinking alcohol can have major consequences.

What qualifies are underage DWI in New Jersey?

Anyone, regardless of age, can be convicted of a standard DWI in New Jersey if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or above. However, any driver who is under the age of 21 can face underage DWI charges for driving with a BAC of .01 to .08.

Penalties for underage DWI

An under 21 DWI has the following penalties:

  • Community service: The offender will need to complete up to 30 days of community service.
  • License suspension: The court will suspend the offender’s license for up to 90 days. If the teen has a probationary license, they will need to complete a 4 hour training course as well and cannot receive their license for a year. Subsequent DWIs can result in further license suspension or even revocation.
  • Treatment: All underage offenders will be required to take an Intoxicated Driver Recourse Center program. They will conduct and interview and refer the offender to an appropriate treatment plan.

A driver arrested for a DWI may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in criminal defense. Besides the DWI charges an underage driver may also face additional penalties for underage consumption and possession. It is important that a family understand the long-term consequences of an underage DWI and hire an attorney who can protect a person’s future.

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