If you have recently read the New Jersey criminal statute of underage drivers under the influence, then you might decide that you or your child need a drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey. The New Jersey statute 39:4 – 50.14 handles drivers who are under the legal drinking age and drive intoxicated.
You may be wondering what happens to somebody under 21 if they are caught operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content between .01% less than .08% in New Jersey. Essentially if somebody is under 21 and they are caught with a blood alcohol content of anything, they’re going to be guilty of a DWI which is a drinking while intoxicated. You will be held guilty of the charge if you are under the legal age and have alcohol in your system at all.
The statute does not handle if you have a higher blood alcohol level of .08%. If somebody was operating a vehicle under 21 with blood alcohol content of .08% or more and they will likely face the same charges and penalties that they would face if they were over 21.
But what does the prosecutor have to prove to obtain a conviction? This is a great question, and your drunk driving lawyer, such as the ones available at Rispoli and Borneo PC, is going to be able to help you answer that question.
So once you have been pulled over and you are suspected of intoxicated driving the officer on the scene is going to conduct a field sobriety test, such as can you say the alphabet backwards, can you walk in a straight line. After that they are going to request that you submit to a breathalyzer test which will allow them to determine the exact level of your blood alcohol content.
The underage drunk driving statute requires a blood alcohol content reading of .01% and .07% for somebody underage to be convicted of a DWI, if you have refused the breath test, you might be charged for refusing it. Typically when you refuse a breathalyzer test you are admitting guilt by default. N.J.S.A. 39:4 – 50 is a statute that allows them to charge you for refusing a breathalyzer even if you’re underage.
If you believe you have been wrongly charged, talk to an experienced drunk driving lawyer. If you are convicted for underage driving you’re going to face some penalties, such as your license will be suspended for 30 days minimum but not more than 90 days, you will have to complete community service for between 15 and 30 days, and you will be required to fulfill a program and fee requirements of the Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center program.