Underage Drinking in New Jersey

Posted May 7th, 2015 by .

Categories: Criminal Defense.

underage-drinking-nj-anthony-carboneIt might not seem like such a big deal.  After all, at 18, you can commander a gun and fight for our country.  At 18, you can also register to vote and contribute to crucial decisions regarding the leaders who make state and federal laws.  However, the law in the United States and New Jersey, are clear.  You cannot drink or purchase alcohol until your 21st birthday.  Exactly what are the consequences for underage drinking in New Jersey?

The Penalties for Under Aged Drinking

You can read the specifics regarding the penalties for under aged possession of alcohol here.  In short, the statute mandates the following provisions:

  • Individuals who consume or purchase alcoholic beverages in a school zone or other public place have unique penalties. Their minimal fine is $500.  This is considered a disorderly persons offense, which is a crime.
  • The consequences for consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle are stiffer. In addition to other penalties, the convicted party can expect some action taken on their motor vehicle license.  This could include postponement of procuring the license or its suspension.
  • Individuals guilty of underaged drinking may be subject to attending classes regarding alcohol education or remanded to a treatment program.

Exemptions under the Law

The state legislature did make certain exemption under the law, which includes immunity from prosecution.  They include:

  • If the underaged person calls for emergency assistance and identifies himself or herself, they may be immune from prosecution (This may include up to two other persons who participated in the report.)
  • One of the provisions of the report is that the underaged person stay until the arrival of medical assistance and law enforcement
  • If an underaged procures alcohol as part of their employment, they may be exempt from criminal prosecution
  • The underaged person who received medical assistance may be exempt from the penalties associated with this offense

Providing alcohol to Underaged Drinkers

More than likely, you are aware that it is against the law to supply alcohol to someone under 21.  It should be noted that there is a provision that allows minors to consume alcohol in conjunction with religious ceremonies.  Minors may drink in the home with the permission and presence of a parent.  With these exceptions,   the consequences for supplying alcohol to minors include a disorderly persons charge.  In addition, if someone gets in an accident and leaves your home after illegally imbibing alcohol, you may be exposed to liability for personal injury.

If you or a loved one has been accused of any aspect of underaged drinking, it is important that you seek legal representation.  The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has handled cases of this nature for many years.  Contact us to make an appointment.

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