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What is New Jersey’s law for underage drinking and driving?

If you are under the age of 21 or the parent of a driver who is underage, you should be educated about New Jersey’s laws concerning underage drinking and driving. The threshold by which a driver can be charged with driving while intoxicated is different for a minor than it is for someone 21 years old and over. Similarly, the penalties that may be incurred for such an offense are different for minors.

The State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General breaks down the state’s laws in two categories. One involves drivers 20 and younger who are suspected of being intoxicated. New Jersey has what it calls a Zero Tolerance Law. Under this law, a minor who is found to have a blood alcohol content of any traceable amount can be charged with a DWI offense. While for those of legal drinking age, a BAC level exceeding 0.08 percent is considered intoxicated, a BAC level of even 0.01 percent can result in a charge against a minor. Consequences for these offenses include the loss of driving privileges for as little as 30 or as many as 90 days. Community service and participation in special education classes may also be ordered.

Minors can also face the loss of driving privileges for consuming alcohol in any location that operates under an alcoholic beverage license. This offense may also result in the imposition of a $500 fine.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about what penalties minors may receive if they are convicted of drinking illegally or drinking and driving in New Jersey.



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Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.
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