Articles Posted in Underage DWI

If you have been charged with underage DWI in New Jersey, you need a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney on your side. Drinking and driving is always a bad idea, regardless of your age. However, when underage drivers are charged or convicted of a DWI, it can have far-reaching consequences for their lives. Beyond the traditional penalties, such as fines and license suspension, a DWI conviction could affect your college, employment, and housing applications. Thus, a DWI charge should never be taken lightly. You can trust that we will help build a strong defense in your case.

Earlier this week, a Franklin man was arrested for drunk driving after he was found asleep behind the wheel at a traffic light. The man, just 20 years old, was charged with underage driving while intoxicated, careless driving, failure to keep right, delaying traffic, and failure to observe traffic signal.

Police responded to a report that a motorist was asleep at the light. When an officer arrived at the scene, he noticed that the driver was asleep with his foot still on the brake pedal. The police officer proceeded to wake the driver up, engaged in conversation with him, and determined he was showing signs of intoxication. The man then failed a field sobriety test and was charged.

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An underage DWI should never be taken lightly, since it can negatively affect your future in many ways, including your college and employment opportunities. Our skilled New Jersey DWI attorneys can help, whether it is your first DWI or a subsequent charge. Our firm has the resources, knowledge, and experience to handle your case. We have a thorough understanding of what it takes to make a DWI charge stick and what you need to do to defeat it.

According to a new study released by the Colorado State University, about 33 percent of recent high school graduates across the country reported to riding in a car with an impaired driver at least once in the previous year. The study revealed that young adults are more likely to ride with a driver impaired by marijuana than a driver impaired by alcohol.

The study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, analyzed data collected in 2013-2014 in two annual surveys, each of which included more than 2,000 young people one or two years after they graduated from high school. According to the study, the impaired driver was more likely to be a peer than an older adult, which is alarming because young impaired drivers are 17 times more likely than adults to die in a crash when their BAC is over the legal limit.

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If you have been charged with underage driving while intoxicated (DWI), you should not hesitate to get in touch with a experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer. Even though a New Jersey prosecutor may refer to an underage DWI as a “Baby DWI” – you should not let the name fool you. When it comes to these “Baby DWIs,” prosecutors will often seek maximum penalties in a case, which is why it is imperative to have a trusted legal advocate on your side.

In New Jersey, the offense of a DWI involves driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. However, there may be many situations in which an underage driver may get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. If you are below 21 years of age and are suspected of driving after consuming alcohol, you may be charged with an underage DWI, also sometimes known as a “Baby DWI.” It is important to note that there is a a significant difference between a standard DWI and a Baby DWI, which can be prosecuted if the defendant had a BAC of 0.01 percent or higher.

New Jersey has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving. Penalties for underage DWI are serious and may include the loss of driving privileges, community service, monetary fines, and partaking in an alcohol and traffic safety education program. While the consequences for a Baby DWI might be less severe than a regular DWI, there is still a lot at stake. College acceptances, scholarship awards, car insurance rates, and even future job prospects could all be adversely affected by an underage DWI conviction.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in New Jersey, regardless of whether the driver is of age or underage. If you or your underage child has been arrested or charged with a DWI, you should speak to a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney who is well versed in this area of law. You can rest assured that we can examine the facts of your case and determine a defense strategy accordingly. The stakes are high in these cases, so it is important to act quickly.

Under New Jersey law, the basic offense of a DWI consists of driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. If you are under the age of 21, the state only needs to show that your BAC was above 0.01 percent in order to convict you of an “underage DWI.” New Jersey has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving. As a result, the penalties for underage DWI are severe and typically include the loss of driving privileges for 30 to 90 days, community service for 15 to 30 days, mandatory fines and penalties, and participation in an alcohol and traffic safety education program.

If you are under the age of 21, and your BAC exceeds 0.08 percent, you will likely be charged with a DWI as an adult and subject to regular New Jersey DWI penalties. If you do not have a driver’s license and are under the age of 17 at the time of the incident, you will be subject to a 30- to 90-day delay in processing your driver’s license.

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Although the summer is not even half over, it seems like some parents are counting the days until the school year starts up again. But the fact of the matter is, summer vacation is still in full swing. For those families with junior high and high school kids, anxiety levels can be quite high as it is not unusual for some teens to experiment with alcohol or drugs during long unsupervised periods like this. While graduation parties are long past, family gatherings, vacation get-togethers and impromptu beach parties can bring youngsters together in close proximity to beer, wine and hard liquor; needless to say, the results can be very unsettling for many parents.

While some mother and fathers may feel that a little experimentation on the part of their teens is unavoidable, others believe it is simply unacceptable; the State of New Jersey is certainly sides with the latter. This time of the year, even teenagers who are just a couple years away from legal drinking age must surely feel that 21 is still a lifetime away. When parties and summer gatherings bring adults and kids together, it is not surprising that the temptation to sneak a drink an be strong for some of these kids.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, we are not here today to argue the moral aspects of underage drinking, but we do have a number of caveats that any underage teen or young adult should consider before indulging oneself when alcohol is nearby and plentiful. Especially for those driving-age kids, the dangers of intoxication could have deadly results when alcohol in any form does not receive the respect that it deserves, and which can only come with age and experience.
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One of the many questions we get from prospective clients comes actually from the parents of teenagers who are facing charges of underage DWI. The first thing we explain to the adults is that leaving the outcome to chance is never a good idea. While the individuals involved in such court cases may still be children, flirting with a drunk driving conviction at such a young age is certainly not kid stuff.

As New Jersey drunk driving attorneys, the legal staff at my law firm understands that kids may be kids, but being on the hook for a drinking and driving offense is no time to leave a case of underage DWI to an inexperienced lawyer. Our skilled attorneys have nearly 100 years of combined litigation experience. We know the implications of any DWI or drug DUI conviction and we are ready to offer recommendations to those motorists who seek our counsel.

In the area of underage drinking and underage DWI, we understand that parents are often frustrated by the choices that some of their children make, especially as they are quickly approaching adulthood. Quite frankly, we can appreciate that it is a full-time job these days just keeping some kids on the “straight and narrow” path. The irony is that many parents committed similar transgressions in their youth, which can sometimes result in them being even more strict when setting boundaries for their own children.
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Everyone who holds a New Jersey driver’s license should know that a driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) charge is nothing to take lightly. In fact, drunken driving and drug DUI charges can carry with them severe consequences if a motorist is found guilty in a court of law. As Garden State drunk driving defense attorneys, my legal team is experienced in representing drivers who have been accused of these and other serious motor vehicle-related offenses.

One area of DWI law pertains to those drivers who have not yet reached legal drinking age, but for whatever reason have been charged with drunken driving. A person under the age of 21 can be convicted of DWI with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of just 0.01 percent or more. This may seem like a rather harsh lower limit (especially when compared to the “normal” 0.08 percent for drivers 21 years of age or over), however this is the law and anyone who is underage and driving should seriously consider the consequences of being caught with even this small amount of alcohol in their system.

The penalties for underage DWI are listed in the New Jersey legal statutes (under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14). The law states that any person under legal drinking age who operates a car, truck or motorcycle with a BAC of 0.01 percent, but below 0.08 percent shall forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle in New Jersey. This also applies to individuals who have not yet attained their operator’s license, since the statute specifically states that someone found to have an illegal amount of alcohol in his or her bloodstream shall be prohibited from obtaining a driver’s license for between 30 days to three months.
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We see it quite frequently; the various anti-drunk driving campaigns accompanied by enhanced enforcement, such as saturation patrols during major holidays and late-night sobriety roadblocks on the weekends. In short, the apparent war on intoxicated motorists continues at a fairly regular and deliberate pace here in the Garden State. As New Jersey DWI and drug DUI defense attorneys, we know from experience that local police and state patrol officers take their roles very seriously when it comes to pursuing those drivers who may be inebriated behind the wheel.

Some drivers find themselves pulled over in the middle of traffic simply because they appeared to be wandering in their lane, when the reason could have been a minor distraction in the vehicle. Others might end up being flagged off the road at one of the many random roadside DWI checkpoints that seem to pop up at the most inopportune times. Regardless of the circumstances, however, if an office suspects a motorist to be even a slight bit drunk or otherwise impaired by alcohol or prescription drugs — never mind illegal substances like marijuana or cocaine — the gloves will come off an a much more intensive investigation will typically commence.

Of course, sometimes the police have reason to be suspicious of a driver’s condition, much less his motivation to avoid being picked up by officers for whatever kind of offense. Considering the reputation that New Jersey’s police have when drunk driving or drug DUI is involved, some people with a lot to lose will test the will of those law enforcement officers. Take the story of a Hamilton, NJ, driver who attempted to run from police following an alleged drunken driving accident along a portion of Interstate 95 last December.
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While police in Cape May, Ocean, Atlantic and Monmouth counties are all rather busy with drunken driving activity during the warmer months, it is a certainty that all during the year New Jersey State Police, municipal patrolmen and other law enforcement officials are kept active with DWI and drug DUI arrests no matter what the season. And it goes without saying, as the New Year holiday approaches, that instances of drinking and driving tend to become more frequent thanks to family gatherings, office parties and overall holiday celebrations.

As Garden State drunk driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I receive our share requests for no-obligation consultations from motorists who have been accused of impaired driving. While there is no single scenario that illustrates a typical drunken driving arrest, if the police are following proper procedures it generally begins with a legitimate traffic stop for a driving offense or vehicle violation.

If there was no legitimate reason for the initial police stop, then there may be grounds for a dismissal of the subsequent DWI-DUI charges. Most people who are stopped by police and then arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol are well advised to seek the advice of a skilled attorney with expertise in the area of drunken driving law.
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Here in the Garden State, the laws pertaining to underage drinking, as well as underage DWI, are very specific. Because New Jersey statutes clearly state that an individual cannot be younger than 21 years of age to buy, possess or drink any alcoholic beverage, underage drinking is, by definition, an illegal act. The consequences for underage consumption of alcohol can be very severe under New Jersey law, especially when the violation occurs in conjunction with the operation of a motor vehicle, which can lead to a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol if a young person is stopped by police.

Regardless of whether a young person is stopped for driving under the influence, and subsequently arrested on DWI charges, simply having an underage drinking conviction on one’s record could affect an individual’s future driving privileges in New Jersey. To be sure, when talking about underage drinking offenses, it is always important to consider the potential penalties attached to a conviction for underage drinking (also known as a disorderly persons offense).

For example, those individuals under 21 years of age who are arrested by a police officer for consuming alcohol — or even purchasing an alcoholic beverage in a licensed establishment — could receive a fine of at least $500, not to mention have his or her driver’s license suspended for upward of six months. For those more egregious offenses, there are other, more severe consequences. Depending on the circumstances, an underage drinking conviction may include actual jail time (up to six months) and fines approaching $1000.
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