In the United States, young adults wait anxiously to turn 21 so they can legally drink. But, many of these young people will experiment with alcohol before they are of legal drinking age. Additionally, some will choose to drink and drive. Drinking and driving is a serious offense; it endangers the driver, passengers, other drivers on the road, and pedestrians. As a result, driving while intoxicated (DWI) carries some serious penalties. If you drink and drive while underage, you are breaking two laws, causing much stricter DWI requirements. Read on to learn more about underage DWIs in New Jersey.
What Constitutes an Underage DWI?
In New Jersey, DWI penalties are determined by one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and prior offenses. If you are above 21-years-old and you are charged with a DWI for the first time, your penalties will depend upon your BAC. If you are charged with a BAC of .08-.09%, you will face:
- Up to 30 days of incarceration
- Suspension of license for 3 months
- $1,000 yearly surcharge for 3 years
- $250 and $400 fines
- Engagement in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and applicable fees
- $100 for the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund
- $100 Drunk Driving Fund fee
- $75 Neighborhood Services Fund fee
If you have a BAC of .10% or above, your charges will further increase.
Because it is illegal to drink under the age of 21, there is very little leeway when it comes to drinking and driving. If you are pulled over with a BAC of .01% or above, you will be charged with a DWI.
What Are the Penalties of an Underage DWI?
If you are charged with an underage DWI, you may face the following penalties:
- License suspension for 30-90 days
- 15-30 days of community service
- Participation in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) and related fees
Subsequent DWI charges will result in higher and higher penalties.
What Should I Do if Charged with an Underage DWI?
An underage DWI charge can seriously impact your future. If you receive a DWI charge, you will want to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney will fight to reduce your charges and penalties.
If you or a loved one has been charged with an underage DWI in New Jersey, contact our experienced firm. We understand that people make mistakes and we will explore all of your potential options and fight on your behalf.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
When someone is charged with a crime, they have a lot to consider. However, we understand that everyone makes mistakes, which is why we are here to help. No matter your circumstances, if you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Policastro today for the experienced legal counsel you deserve and need.