Underage DWIs in New Jersey | What You Need to Know
New Jersey takes DWIs very seriously. This is especially true when it comes to underage DWIs. Read on to learn more.
What is New Jersey’s Zero Tolerance Law?
The state of New Jersey has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drinking and driving. This law holds drivers under the age of 21 responsible for their actions if they drive while under the influence. In New Jersey, underage drivers who operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.01% and 0.08% can be charged with an underage DWI. It is important to note that if the driver’s BAC was over 0.08%, they can be charged as an adult and face regular DWI penalties.
Penalties For an Underage DWI
Children are growing and learning and this process involves making mistakes. New Jersey courts impose strict penalties on those who receive underage DWIs in the hopes that it will deter them from participating in the same or similar behavior in the future and to get them the help they need. Some of these penalties may include:
- License suspension: The state can suspend the underage individual’s driver’s license for 30 to 90 days. In addition to this, a teenager with a probationary license must complete a four-hour remedial driving course without the ability to receive a basic driver’s license for one year. If they have a learner’s permit, the teenager must complete the four-hour class and will face suspension for an additional 90 days. Subsequent DWI offenses can result in further license suspensions or revocations.
- Community service: After being charged with an underage DWI, the court can order the driver to complete 15 to 30 days of community service.
- Treatment: All DWI offenders are required to complete the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program or an approved rehabilitation program that is similar. An evaluation and interview are conducted by the IDRC before referring the driver to an appropriate treatment level. This is based on the driver’s evaluation, their driving record, and their BAC at the time of the violation.
If you or a loved one is facing charges for an underage DWI, reach out to our firm today. We are here to advocate for you.
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