internal page banner image

Underage DWI

If someone is under twenty-one (21) years old and operates a motor vehicle after consuming almost any amount of alcohol, they face the real possibility of being convicted of an underage DWI. The reason for this statement stems from the fact that N.J.S. 39:4-50.14 sets the blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) limit for this offense at .01%. This law is intended to establish what is basically a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drinking and driving of those under legal age to consume alcoholic beverages. If you or your child was arrested for driving under the influence or underage DWI in town like Bloomfield, Newark, or East Orange, there are many defenses that may allow for a downgrade or even a dismissal of the offense. Our attorneys are highly experienced in driving while intoxicated defense and most are even former DWI/DUI prosecutors. To learn how we can help you, call us at 973-710-1520 for a free consultation.

What Does The NJ Underage DWI Law Say?

The statute that applies to individuals under legal drinking who consume alcohol before operating a motor vehicle is contained at N.J.S. 39:4-50.14. This law provides in relevant part that:
Any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or more, but less than 0.08%, by weight of alcohol in his blood, shall forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State or shall be prohibited from obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of not less than 30 or more than 90 days beginning on the date he becomes eligible to obtain a license or on the day of conviction, whichever is later, and shall perform community service for a period of not less than 15 or more than 30 days.
In addition, the person shall satisfy the program and fee requirements of an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center or participate in a program of alcohol education and highway safety as prescribed by the chief administrator.
The penalties provided under the provisions of this section shall be in addition to the penalties which the court may impose under N.J.S.2C:33-15, R.S.33:1-81, R.S.39:4-50 or any other law.

What is an Underage DWI?

The specific law regarding Underage DWIs and DUIs is rather straightforward. Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14, it is illegal for any person under the legal age to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or more, but less than 0.08%, by weight of alcohol in his or her blood.

What are the Penalties for an Underage DWI?

If you or someone you love is convicted of an Undergae DWI in Essex County, NJ, then certain mandatory and discretionary penalties will apply. Specifically, the convicted driver will forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of New Jersey or shall be prohibited from obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of not less than 30 or more than 90 days beginning on the date he becomes eligible to obtain a license or on the day of conviction, whichever is later. Compounding this penalty will be mandatory community service for a period of not less than 15 or more than 30 days. Additionally, the person must satisfy the program and fee requirements of an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center or participate in a program of alcohol education and highway safety. For students commuting to and from school, these penalties can severely handicap daily life.

Underage Driving While Intoxicated Defense Attorneys

It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney to defend a DWI or Underage DWI charge.  At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our team of driving while intoxicated lawyers has years of experience fighting driving while intoxicated charges. Contact our office today and find out how we can help.