For most American teenagers, prom is an important rite of passage. And for high school students in New Jersey, it is no different. While prom is an exciting and memorable time in one’s life, it can also be a very dangerous time if teenagers are not responsible. If your teenager has been arrested for drinking while intoxicated (DWI), it is imperative to consult a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney without delay. We don’t believe that a simple mistake should cost your child his or her entire future, which is precisely why we will help you mount a vigorous defense in your case.
Sadly, there are a number of startling realities about the use of alcohol among teenagers on prom night. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 300 teens have died in alcohol-related auto accidents during prom weekend over the past several years. A 2014 survey published by the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that 31 to 41 percent of teenagers said it was likely that they or their friends would use alcohol or drugs on prom night. Perhaps the scariest part is, according to Students Against Drunk Drivers, more than 85 percent of teenagers told their peers they are more likely to drive impaired than call their parents because they are scared of getting in trouble.
In New Jersey, drivers under 21 are legally impaired when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .01 percent or more. This is a lower BAC limit than for individuals over 21 years of age, who are considered to be legally drunk when they have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.
Just because you have been charged with a DWI does not mean you are guilty. In every underage DWI case, the state bears the burden of proving every element of the offense. The state must meet a high evidentiary standard and there may be defenses that can help get the charges against you reduced and, in some cases, even dropped. For instance, you may be able to show that the police officer who pulled you over had no probable cause to do so. This legal requirement mandates that police officers do not arbitrarily pull people over. Instead, they must be able to point to a traffic law you were violating as the basis for the stop. If it can be established that there was no probable cause to pull you over, it can significantly help the outcome of your case. This is just one example of a possible defense that may be at play in your case.
An underage DWI conviction carries severe penalties and can seriously jeopardize a young person’s future especially when it comes to college or starting a new job. If your child has been charged with an underage DWI, we can help. Our highly skilled New Jersey drunk driving attorneys will work tirelessly to get DWI charges against your child reduced or dropped altogether. These cases are complicated and having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case. To discuss your situation in more detail, please call us at 877-450-8301 or reach out to us online.