Elmwood Park Underage DWI Defense Lawyers
Alcotest 7110 Certified DWI Defense Lawyer with Offices in Hackensack, New Jersey
New Jersey has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. If your child is caught driving with even a drop of alcohol in their system, they will be charged with underage DWI and face significant penalties. Underage DWI offenses are addressed in the New Jersey motor vehicle and traffic regulations by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14. Just a single beverage can potentially trigger a violation of the statute. Any person under the age of 21 who operates a car with a BAC of 0.01 percent or higher will have their driver’s license automatically suspended for at least 30 days. If the offender does not yet have a license, such as a minor with a learner’s permit, then they will not be able to obtain a license for at least 90 days.
In addition to losing their driving privileges in New Jersey, a person convicted of underage DUI charges will be required to perform a minimum of 15 days of community service, as well as to attend alcohol education classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). It is also important to keep in mind that a minor can still be charged with a more standard DWI offense if their BAC reaches .08 percent. In these cases, the minor can be charged as an adult offender. Considering what’s on the line when your child is charged with a DUI in Bergen County, do not delay in consulting with an experienced DWI lawyer immediately.
Who can Help Beat Underage Drunk Driving Charges in Bergen County NJ?
The attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are seasoned professionals who dedicate their legal practice to the areas of criminal defense and drunk driving (DWI) in order to remain at the helm of current case law in New Jersey. Their extensive experience combating charges for alcohol-related offenses, including refusal to submit to a breath test, DWI in a School Zone, and driving under the influence of drugs, provides them with the necessary edge to achieve positive results for their clients. Our lawyers appear in Bergen County courts on a daily basis, including courtrooms in Mahwah, Saddle Brook, and Fort Lee.
In addition, Mr. Tormey is one of the few New Jersey attorneys who are certified Alcotest 7110 operators. The Alcotest is the breath testing device used throughout the state to prosecute drunk driving cases. As a result of his unique understanding of this device, Mr. Tormey knows the components of the machine, how it works, and if there are any issues with the functioning of the breath testing device. This knowledge and expertise can be used to attack the reliability of the breath test result in your loved one’s case. With offices conveniently located in Hackensack, Mr. Tormey and his DWI defense team are available immediately at (201)-330-4979 to assist you. You can also email us to schedule a free consultation.
Underage DWI in the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Code: N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14
A violation for underage drinking and driving in New Jersey is governed by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14, which provides, in pertinent part:
§ 39:4-50.14. Penalties for underage person operating motor vehicle after consuming alcohol
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.A. 2C:33-15, R.S. 33:1-81, R.S. 39:4-50 or any other law.
What Are the Elements of an Underage DWI Offense in New Jersey?
In order to prove an underage DWI offense in New Jersey, the State must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The driver was under 21 years of age at the time of the stop
- The driver operated a motor vehicle on the roads of the State of New Jersey
- The driver had any alcohol in his/her system at the time of the stop
Therefore, although the legal limit in New Jersey is typically .08 percent Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), this does not apply to individuals under the legal drinking age of 21. It is illegal for someone who is underage to have ANY alcohol in their system while operating a motor vehicle in New Jersey.
What Are the Penalties for Underage DWI in New Jersey?
As the above statute details, the penalties for underage DWI include the following:
- License suspension: 30 to 90 days
- Community Service: 15 to 30 days
- Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): Mandatory participation in IDRC or another alcohol education program
Note: It is important to remember that an underage DWI does not count as a prior DWI if you are charged with an adult DWI in the future. As such, if you have a prior underage DWI on your record and you receive an adult DWI in the future, you will face first offense DWI penalties (as opposed to second offense penalties).
Contact an Experienced Hackensack DWI Defense Lawyer Today
The penalties for an underage DWI in New Jersey are significant and can be life-altering for a young person who is just beginning their journey. If your child is convicted of underage drinking and driving, they could lose their ability to drive in the state for a very long time. To protect them from the negative impacts that these charges can entail for their future, contact Travis J. Tormey today at (201)-330-4979. You can also use the online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case.