Vehicle operators who are 21 years of age or older face driving under the influence charges if they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or over. However, drivers who are not yet 21 years old face DUI charges with even a little bit of alcohol in their system.
The consequences for a DUI conviction can affect many areas of life. If you are a minor, it is important to understand the penalties of drinking and driving.
According to The State of New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, the state has zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. This means that you face a DUI if your BAC is .01 or higher.
Penalties for conviction
As a minor, if you receive a DUI conviction, you face various penalties:
- License suspension for 30 to 90 days
- Participation in a program educating you about alcohol and traffic safety
- Community service for 15 to 30 days
There are additional penalties if you refuse the breathalyzer test.
Even if you are smart and choose not to drive if you drink, Grand Valley State University warns that you could still get a DUI if you drive the next day. It takes time for alcohol to leave your system, so you could still have a BAC of .01 or higher many hours after you stop drinking.
Open container laws
Even if you are not driving, but you bring an open alcoholic beverage with you in the vehicle, you face penalties. For a first offense open container possession, you owe a fine of $200, and with a second offense, your penalty is a fine of $250 or community service for 10 days.