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Camden DUI Lawyer Reports on Strict Regulations for Underage Drunk Drivers

In New Jersey, underage drunk drivers face harsh penalties. The penalties for an underage DWI charge vary in severity depending on the driver’s Blood Alcohol Level (BAC). Even a first-time offender with no criminal history can face jail time and license suspension for driving under the influence or possessing alcohol in a motor vehicle.

A driver under the age of 21 with a BAC of .01-.079% may be charged for an Under 21 DWI. This offense carries a license suspension of 30-90 days and 15-30 days of community service. Offenders are required to attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) session while being detained. In this session, detainees are screened for treatment needs and educated about topics related to drinking and driving. As long as the driver’s BAC was below .08%, the charge will be heard in juvenile court. Another alcohol-related offense is an Under 21 Possession of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle, which levies a 6 month license suspension and $500 fine to any underage person possessing or consuming alcohol in a car.

If the underage driver has a BAC exceeding .08% and below .99%, the case will no longer be held in juvenile court and they may be charged for a DWI as an adult. The DWI penalties for a BAC over .08% include a jail sentence up to 30 days, license suspension of 3 months, $3500 or more in surcharges, and $250-400 in fines. This offense also requires a 12-48 hour IDRC detainment. More severe penalties are assessed for drivers with a BAC greater than .10% including an increased license suspension of 7-12 months and fines of $300-500 in addition to the penalties for a general DWI.

An underage drunk driving charge is not an open-and-shut case because there are many possible defenses that can challenge the charge. For one, the low standard of .01% BAC can be triggered by substances other than alcohol such as hand sanitizer or mouthwash. Other possible defenses include the police officer having probable cause for the vehicle stop and the officer following proper protocol. An experienced New Jersey DWI attorney can determine which defense is applicable to your case.

Camden DWI Lawyer Michele Finizio Defends Underage Drunk Drivers to the Fullest Extent of the Law

Young adults facing DWI charges or similar alcohol offenses are in a delicate and pivotal point in their lives. Due to the high stakes of an underage drunk driving charge, it is important to consult an experienced Camden DWI lawyer, Michele Finizio, Esq. understands New Jersey’s drunk driving laws and aggressively defends her client’s best interest. If you are charged with DWI or DUI in South Jersey, call her office at 609-230-0374 for a free consultation or contact her online.

The Law Offices of Michele Finizio is located in Moorestown, New Jersey in the Cherry Hill area for easy accessibility from all regions of New Jersey including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County, Marlton, Mt. Laurel and Mt. Holly.

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I could not have asked for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my cases and the cases of those I've recommended, as if we were part of her family.

-D.A.