A recent three-car accident in Morris County, New Jersey, resulted in an underage DWI arrest on September 10. During his normal patrol, Patrolman Michael Minni noticed what he discerned to be a loud explosion just before noon on Main Street in downtown Madison. Arriving to investigate, Officer Minni happened on three cars involved in an apparent traffic accident. As a New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney, my law firm represents many clients charged with DWI or drug DUI.
When drunk driving leads to an accident with or without injuries, there is always added effort expended by law enforcement personnel to determine the exact cause and nature of the wreck. In this case, the police found that one of the drivers involved in the collision was under the influence of alcohol.
According to reports, a 19-year-old Springfield man failed to stop, rear-ending a vehicle that was already stopped in traffic. The driver, Brian J. Smith, indicated that his passenger, 20-year-old Steven M. Decter, had left the accident scene following the crash. Police arrested Smith and transported him to headquarters for processing.
Smith was charged with driving while intoxicated, underage possession of alcohol, having an open liquor container in a motor vehicle and careless driving. Police subsequently arrest Decter, also of Springfield, who was charged with underage possession of alcohol. Both were later released pending a court appearance.
Although an underage drinking and driving conviction in New Jersey can involve as little as 30 days license suspension — versus 90 days suspension for an adult DWI — the future consequences for a young person who is convicted of underage DWI can be significant. Underage drinking and driving convictions can affect future school choices as well as employment opportunities. Underage DWI is serious and should not be dismissed. If a child of yours has been arrested for underage DWI, contact a qualified legal professional immediately.