A violation for underage drinking and driving in New Jersey is governed by N.J.S. 39:4-50.14 which provides in pertinent part:

§ 39:4-50.14. Penalties for underage person operating motor vehicle after consuming alcohol

Any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or more, but less than 0.08%, by weight of alcohol in his blood, shall forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State or shall be prohibited from obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of not less than 30 or more than 90 days beginning on the date he becomes eligible to obtain a license or on the day of conviction, whichever is later, and shall perform community service for a period of not less than 15 or more than 30 days.

In addition, the person shall satisfy the program and fee requirements of an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center or participate in a program of alcohol education and highway safety as prescribed by the chief administrator.

The penalties provided under the provisions of this section shall be in addition to the penalties which the court may impose under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15, R.S. 33:1-81, R.S. 39:4-50 or any other law.

As the above statute states, the State must prove the following to sustain an underage driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense in New Jersey:

  • Operation of a motor vehicle
  • Defendant was under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages (21 years old)
  • Defendant was under the influence of alcohol (his or her BAC was at least .01%)

The penalties for an Underage DWI include:

  • Driver’s license suspension of thirty (30) to ninety (90) days.
  • Community service: fifteen (15) to thirty (30) days
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center: Minimum 12 hours or alternative alcohol education program.