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The legal drinking age throughout the United State is 21 years old. So what may make your driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge worse is if you were under the legal drinking age at the time of your arrest. Read on to discover what the DWI penalties are for individuals under the age of 21 and how a seasoned Morristown criminal defense lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can come to your defense if need be.

What BAC level will constitute a DWI if I am under the age of 21?

Notably, when a law enforcement officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, they may make you take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood-alcohol content (BAC) level. And to legally receive a DWI in the state of New Jersey, your BAC level must be 0.08 percent or higher.

However, the same does not apply if you are under the legal drinking age. That is, if you are under the age of 21, your BAC level only has to be detected at 0.01 percent for you to legally receive a DWI.

What are the penalties for a DWI if I am under the age of 21?

If you are under the age of 21, have detectable alcohol in your system while driving, and overall violate the state of New Jersey’s zero-tolerance law, then you may be facing the following penalties:

  • A loss or postponement of driving privileges for anywhere between 30 days to 90 days.
    • If you only have a probationary license: a four-hour remedial driving course.
    • If you only have a learner’s permit: a four-hour remedial driving course and an additional 90-day suspension.
  • A community service requirement of anywhere between 15 days to 30 days.
  • A 48-hour required attendance at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, or a similarly approved rehabilitation program.

What are the other consequences of an underaged DWI?

The consequences of your underaged DWI may just follow you for the rest of your life. Meaning, your DWI charge can appear on your driving record and in background checks, and these cannot be expunged. This may translate into any or all of the following consequences:

  • You may have difficulty obtaining certain educational opportunities.
  • You may have difficulty obtaining certain work opportunities.
  • You may have difficulty obtaining certain properties.
  • You may have difficulty obtaining certain loans.

At your age, these consequences may not have an effect on you. But later on in life, you may experience much regret. So for these reasons alone, it is important that you take these accusations placed against you seriously.

You must immediately retain the services of a competent Morristown criminal defense lawyer who will do everything in their power to fight off these charges. We look forward to your phone call.