The state of New Jersey takes drinking and driving laws very seriously. It is because of this that anyone who is found driving under the influence (DUI) can face certain consequences. As those under the age of 21 are not legally allowed to drink in the first place, their consequences of committing a DWI are different from that of others. If you were charged with an underage DWI, it is crucial for you to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney for help with your case.
New Jersey Zero Tolerance Law
The state of New Jersey has a zero-tolerance law when it comes to drinking and driving. This means that drivers can be held liable for their actions. If an underage driver is found with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.01% and 0.08% while behind the wheel, they can be charged with an underage DUI. These cases are usually heard in the municipal court. It is important to know that if an underage driver has a BAC over 0.08%, they can be charged as an adult. When this happens, they can face the same penalties as that of an “of age” driver.
Penalties of an Underage DUI
Underage drivers who receive a DUI charge can face significant consequences as a result. These can vary depending on the circumstances of the charge, including their BAC at the time as well as if they have prior offenses. Generally, consequences can include:
- License suspension: A driver’s license can be suspended by the state for 30 to 90 days. Teenagers with a probationary license must complete a four-hour remedial driving course without the possibility of receiving a regular license for one year. Drivers with learning permits also must complete the four-hour class along with an additional 90-day suspension. Subsequent DUI offenses may call for longer license suspensions or revocations.
- Community service: Underage DUI offenders can be ordered by the court to complete 15 to 30 days of community service.
- Treatment: All DUI offenders are required to complete the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program or a similarly approved rehabilitation program. An evaluation and interview will be conducted before referring them to a treatment level that is appropriate for them. The treatment that is chosen is based on the evaluation, the individual’s driving record, and their BAC at the time.
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.