Young drivers should understand that it’s possible to be arrested for DUI even when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than the usual legal limit of 0.08. Drivers under 21, in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, can be charged with a DUI if found to be driving with a BAC as low as 0.00 to 0.02. In New Jersey, the limit for underage drivers is 0.01.

So, even if you didn’t feel drunk or were careful only to drink a very small amount of alcohol with dinner—you could still face DUI charges if you get behind the wheel. States like New Jersey enforce zero tolerance laws – and consequences for violating them – to help discourage underage drinking, as well as unsafe driving.

What should I do if arrested for underage DUI? 

If a police officer pulled you over and arrested you for DUI, you probably have many questions and concerns about what penalties you are facing and how you can protect your future. The first step is to enlist the guidance of an attorney who is familiar with underage DUI cases. An attorney will be able to review the details of your case, collect and analyze any evidence in your case, and advise you on what penalties you may be facing. He can work with you to determine the best course of action for your defense.

Consequences of an Underage DUI Conviction in New Jersey

Like any driver convicted of driving while intoxicated, underage drivers can also face consequences. The consequences may differ from those that other drivers might face, however. Below are some of the penalties that underage drivers might face if convicted of a DUI.

  • Driver’s license suspension: One of the most common penalties facing DUI offenders of any age is suspension of your driving privileges. In New Jersey, you may face a license suspension of 30 to 90 days.
  • Community service: A judge can require that you perform a designated number of community service hours. New Jersey mandates you perform 15 to 30 days of community service for an underage DUI conviction.
  • Alcohol and highway safety classes: You may also have to participate in an alcohol education and highway safety program. These take place at Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers.
  • Delay in driver’s license processing: If you are younger than 17 years old and do not have a license at the time of your arrest, you may face a 30- to 90-day delay to process your driver’s license once you do apply for it.

Depending on the circumstances, you might face various fines and other penalties, especially if your BAC was above the normal 0.08 legal limit. Discuss which fines and other penalties you might face if you have a BAC of 0.08 or higher. You might face applicable and higher penalties that apply to other drivers if your BAC was above the normal legal limit.

Call Dash Farrow, LLP for Criminal Defense

If charged with an underage DUI, a criminal defense attorney at Dash Farrow, LLP can help you navigate the legal process and help protect your rights. We will go over the charges you’re facing, explore the circumstances of your arrest and collection of your BAC results (if applicable), and more. We’ll explore legal options to reduce or mitigate charges and penalties.

Dash Farrow, LLP provides legal counsel to individuals facing underage DUI charges in New Jersey. Call us today at 856-334-0280 to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney and secure representation from a criminal defense attorney.