A sobering new study shows that 17 percent of fatal car accidents involve underage drivers. This is all the more startling because underage drivers only make up for 10 percent of the licensed public. Getting a DUI can be a pivotal moment in a young person’s life, putting their entire future on a different path for the worse. Colleges or future employment opportunities may be jeopardized if the DUI or DWI shows up on the application or resume. Not to mention the underage driver will be categorized as a ‘high risk’ client and will pay more in insurance for some time.
The state of New Jersey is a ‘zero tolerance’ state, so that a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) under the age of 21 of anything over .01 will be subject to punishment. If it is the minor’s first arrest for drinking and driving they may be subject to the loss or postponement of a license for 30-90 days. It may also include community service and a mandatory completion of a drug and alcohol program. If it is the first time the minor is being charged with this crime there could also be jail time from 2 to 90 days, significant fines of up to $1,000. The severity of their sentence is raised if the BAC is over .10.
If this is the second time the driver is being charged they may face up to 2 years in prison, fines of up to $2,000 and a suspended license for 2 years. New Jersey considers a second offense any crime that takes place within ten years of the original charge.
Many times the DUI won’t be the only charge, which will add to the already stiff punishment that comes with getting a DUI/DWI as a minor.
Concerning breathalyzer tests, New Jersey has ‘implied consent’ which means that if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test there will be penalties including a potential 7 month loss of license. Although you may think that refusing to take a breathalyzer test is protecting your rights, it may also make you appear guilty.
A DUI/DWI at any age is a very serious. As an underage driver with their whole future ahead of them it’s important to seek out experienced help when dealing with the charge.
If you are seeking representation for a DUI/DWI or any traffic legal matter, call today for a free consultation 800-709-1131 or fill out a contact form on our website for a no-cost consultation. We hope to hear from you today!