The difference between an “adult DWI” and an “underage DWI” in New Jersey is substantial. For an adult DWI, the defendant is facing a significant license suspension depending on the blood alcohol readings and the number of prior offenses, potential installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle during the period of suspension and following the restoration of their license, a $1,000.00 motor vehicle surcharge per year for three (3) years, and a DWI on their record which will enhance all subsequent violations.
An underage DWI, on the other hand, requires a license suspension of thirty (30) to ninety (90) days and fifteen (15) to thirty (30) days of community service. The defendant is not facing a fine and should not be subject to any enhancement for future violations of the adult drunk driving statute (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50).
If you are under the legal drinking age (21) and are caught operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, the charges you are facing will depend on the amount of alcohol in your blood. If your blood alcohol content (“BAC”) is between .01 and .08% BAC, this is a violation of the underage DWI law in New Jersey. If your breath test readings are higher than .08%, this is a violation of the adult DWI statute and you will be charged as an adult under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.
It is imperative that you avoid a DWI conviction on your record if possible. Contact our experienced drunk driving lawyers for immediate assistance at (973)971-0030.