Underage DWI

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In New Jersey, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, however, if you are under 21 years old, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with any alcohol in your system.

Police in Mendham, Madison, Chester, Harding, Florham Park, Morristown, and throughout Morris County aggressively enforce underage drinking and driving. Therefore, if your teenage son or daughter consumes even one beer and operates a vehicle, they could be convicted of an underage or “baby” DWI

New Jersey’s Underage DWI statute provides:

N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14. Operation of motor vehicle by person who has consumed alcohol but is under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages; penalties

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 .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.

If you are under 21, drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system (.01 BAC or above), and are convicted for violating New Jersey’s zero tolerance law, the penalties are:

  • Loss or postponement of driving privileges for 30 to 90 days
  • 15 to 30 days of community service
  • Participation in an alcohol and traffic safety education program

If you are under 21 and get caught driving with a BAC of .08% or higher, you will be charged with an adult DWI under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.

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