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When someone under twenty (21) years of age is arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Middletown NJ, you can expect that an underage violation under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.14 shall be issued. The reason is because this law makes it illegal for someone under legal drinking age to operate a motor vehicle with any level of alcohol in their system. What frequently happens in cases where a minor possesses a blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) at or above the legal limit of .08%, is that he/she is charged with both an underage and regular DWI offense. If a blood test or breath test taken following the stop yields a BAC of .01% but less than .08%, the defendant’s drunk driving violation is usually limited to an underage or “kiddy” DWI. Our lawyers, several of whom are former municipal prosecutors in the area, have handled countless underage cases, as well as DUI violations, in Middletown. Call us for the skilled representation you and/or your child needs.
Charged With Underage Drinking & Driving In Middletown
New Jersey has adopted an entirely separate violation when it comes to underage alcohol consumption and operation of a car or truck. This law provides that:
39:4-50.14. Operation of motor vehicle by person who has consumed alcohol but is under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages; penalties
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.
In addition, the person shall satisfy the program and fee requirements of an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center or participate in a program of alcohol education and highway safety as prescribed by the chief administrator.
The penalties provided under the provisions of this section shall be in addition to the penalties which the court may impose under N.J.S.2C:33-15, R. S.33:1-81, R.S.39:4-50 or any other law.
What you will immediately notice from this statute is that the mandatory license suspension for underage DWI is much less than what applies under 39:4-50 and that there are no fines that apply. In addition to the difference in terms of penalties, the three (3) year DWI surcharge does not apply, not to mention the fact that a 39:4-50.14 conviction does not count as a prior under 39:4-50. With all of these benefits, a firm like ours can often provide significant benefit for an underage DWI defendant in Middletown. Indeed, we are able to get blood and breath test readings eliminated in many cases and, when this happens, the best the prosecutor can prove is an underage charge.
If you are seeking a DWI defense attorney because of a charge for underage drinking and driving in Middletown, call our Tindall Road office for a free consultation.