New Jersey draws a distinction between an adult offender DWI and an underage DWI charge which has earned the nickname “Baby DUI”. In order to be found guilty of an underage DUI the offender must be under 21 years old, which is the legal age to consume alcohol and must have BAC of .01% or higher. An underage DUI basically amounts to someone under 21 years old consuming alcohol and then operating a motor vehicle without a finding by the court that the person was intoxicated at the time they drove the car. However, it is important to note that if the underage suspect has a BAC of .08% or higher then they will be charged with a regular DWI under the main statute of 39:4-50 on top of the baby DWI ticket. An underage DUI allows a defendant to avoid a DWI conviction that can be counted against them in subsequent DWI cases and also subjects defendants to minimized penalties such as a suspension of between 30 – 90 days. It is important you consult with an experienced underage DWI attorney to learn about your options. To learn more about how we can help you, contact our office today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation.
New Jersey Underage DWI Law
The New Jersey statute governing Underage DWI law is found under ancillary subsection of the DWI statute 39:40-50 which is referred to as N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14 and has been provided in pertinent part for your convenience:
§ 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.”
Kearny NJ Underage DWI Lawyers
If you or your loved one has been charged with underage DWI in New Jersey, then it is important that you retain an experienced DWI defense lawyer. Founding attorney Will Proetta has been certified in the correct maintenance and operation of the Alcotest 7110, the “breathalyzer” equipment used by New Jersey Law enforcement in gauging a suspect’s BAC level. Furthermore, he has been certified as an instructor in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, the tests that police use in the field obtain probable cause for a DWI arrest and also rely on to prove driving while intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt in cases where there is no breath reading. We use our experience to challenge the state’s case against you. We represent clients for underage DWI charges throughout New Jersey including Union City, Weehawken, Jersey City, North Bergen, Hoboken, and West New York. To speak with a lawyer regarding a New Jersey underage DWI, call us at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation.
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