Can I Get a DWI if a Passenger in My Car is Drinking?

If you would like to learn more about the consequences of a passenger drinking in a vehicle, reach out to our skilled Bergen County criminal defense attorneys today to learn more.

Can I be charged if a passenger in my car is drinking?

According to New Jersey law, alcohol-related offenses, which include consuming alcohol while driving (generally this charge is connected to a DWI) and driving with an open container. The law surrounding this states that it is illegal for any driver or passenger of a car to have an open or unsealed alcoholic beverage in a moving vehicle unless it is located in the trunk. It is also prohibited for anyone in a car to drink alcohol while the car is moving. In the event that no one in the car is drinking, passengers or a driver can still be guilty of breaking New Jersey’s open container laws if there are opened bottles or cans of alcohol in a vehicle.

If you have questions or concerns about New Jersey’s open container laws, do not wait to reach out to our firm today to learn more. Our legal team is on your side.

What are the consequences of an open container law in New Jersey?

New Jersey takes open container law violations seriously. If an individual is found to be breaking these laws, the following penalties can ensue:

  • First offense: A fine of $200 and court surcharges
  • Second offense: A fine of $250 or 10 days of community service and court surcharges
  • Third and fourth offenses: Increased fines and penalties

To some, a fine of less than $300 may not appear like a large consequence, however, like many other violations, there are long-lasting effects that can follow even after you have paid your fines. In the case of a New Jersey open container violation, the real effect is the existence of this conviction on your driving record that can affect many things including your insurance rates to any future encounters with the police. Reach out to our firm if you have been charged and our Bergen County criminal defense attorneys can help you fight for your rights.

Contact our Firm

If you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, you need strong legal defense. Contact the Law Office of Carl Spector for dedicated representation. With over 30 years of experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, he offers a unique perspective on how both sides think, and how to best approach each aspect of the case. When your future is on the line, don’t settle for less than the best possible legal representation. Contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight for you. Call today for a free confidential consultation. Let our experience work for you.