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Charged with an Underage DUI in New Jersey? Here’s What You Need to Know

March 10, 2021 | Posted In Drunk Driving

New Jersey has a “zero tolerance” law for underage drivers. This means that it is illegal to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system if you are under age 21. Since drinking underage is also against the law, individuals charged with underage DUI in New Jersey will often face additional charges as well.

Here’s what you need to know if you are facing an underage DUI charge in New Jersey:

Your Specific Charge (and Potential Penalties) Will Depend on Your BAC

Under New Jersey’s “zero tolerance” law, underage drivers can be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.01 percent or greater. Section 39:4-50.14 of the New Jersey Statutes applies in cases involving a BAC of 0.01 to 0.07 percent. Under this law, potential penalties include:

  • 30 to 90-day driver’s license suspension
  • 15 to 30 days of community service
  • Mandatory alcohol education (at your expense)

But, if your BAC was 0.08 percent or above, then you will be charged under New Jersey’s “normal” DUI statute (Section 39:4-50). This means that the penalties you are facing could be far more severe. For a first-time offense under Section 39:4-50 involving a BAC of 0.08 to 0.10 percent, a DUI charge carries penalties including:

  • Hundreds of dollars in fines and costs
  • Up to 90-day driver’s license suspension
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • Mandatory alcohol education (at your expense)

You Could Also Be Charged with Underage Drinking and Other Crimes

As we mentioned above, if the police arrest you for underage DUI in New Jersey, there is a chance that you will be charged with other offenses as well. For example, charges commonly filed against underage drivers in New Jersey include:

  • Underage drinking
  • Soliciting alcohol
  • Distributing alcohol to minors
  • Using a false ID

Convictions for these offenses can lead to additional fines and jail time. Additionally, just like a DUI, these convictions will go on your permanent record—and this could make it much more difficult to get into (or remain enrolled in) college, land a job, and find housing.

There Are Several Ways a New Jersey DUI Defense Lawyer May Be Able to Protect You

Even if you blew 0.01 or above on the breathalyzer during your DUI traffic stop, there are still several ways a New Jersey DUI defense lawyer may be able to protect you. There are several possible defenses to DUI charges in New Jersey—including defenses you may be able to make even if you were drunk behind the wheel. Given everything you have at stake, you owe it to yourself to seek help, and you should discuss your case with a defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Talk to a New Jersey DUI Defense Lawyer Today

Are you under 21 and facing a DUI charge in New Jersey? If so, our defense lawyers can help you avoid unnecessary consequences. Call 877-435-6371 or contact us online now for a confidential consultation.

Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive experience in defending DUI cases as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our site, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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