New Jersey law establishes a zero tolerance policy when it comes to underage DWI. To accomplish this stated policy, it is illegal for anyone under the age of twenty one (21) to operate a motor vehicle while possessing any level of blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) in their system. An underage summons is typically, however, a backup ticket to a Wall DWI case because police issue both when someone under 21 is arrested and blows a .08% or higher on the Alcotest Breath test machine. If you or your child has been charged under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14 or even N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, our lawyers can make all the difference in reaching a favorable recovery. Give us a call anytime for a free initial consultation in our Wall office or by telephone.
Underage Driving While Intoxicated Law – N.J.S.A. 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.
Explanation of the Law. As stated in the statute, a BAC reading of .01% or high triggers a violation; in other words, any level of alcohol will result in a violation under 39:4-50.14. If convicted of this offense, a mandatory license suspension of between 30 days and 90 days is imposed. Community service of at least 15 days must also be performed. It is crucial to understand that a violation under 394-50.14 does not count as a DWI violation because it is not based on a BAC of .08% or more. Accordingly, a person is not exposed to a Motor Vehicle surcharge of at least $1,000 per year for 3 years, the insurance consequences, nor does the conviction count as a prior conviction.
So what can we do for you? In addition to insuring that the penalties for underage DWI are minimized when the case is resolved in Wall Township Municipal Court, our attorneys are frequently successful in getting a companion 39:4-50 violation dismissed. This saves our Wall clients thousands of dollars in fines, assessments, surcharges and insurance increases. A Wall NJ DWI lawyer from the firm would be happy to discuss how we can assist you.