For some people, underage drinking is simply a part of growing up or a rite of passage as adolescents move from childhood to adulthood. However, underage drinking is a serious problem that carries severe consequences.
In New Jersey, a person must be at least 21-years-old to legally buy, possess or drink alcohol. Drinking before the age of 21 carries penalties not only for the young person, but also for any adult who may have provided alcohol to them.
Penalties for an underage drinker in the State of New Jersey include a possible fine of $500 and loss of a driver license for six months. For those who do not yet have a driver license, the suspension would begin once they are eligible to get their license. Enrollment in a treatment or alcohol education program may also be mandated for the underage drinker.
Drivers under the age of 21 who are caught under the influence of alcohol can lose their license for a period of 30 to 90 days, be required to perform community service for 15 to 30 days, and to enroll in a traffic safety and/or alcohol education program.
Adults who purchase alcohol for underage drinkers or who allow underage drinking on their property could find themselves facing lawsuits and possible criminal prosecution, especially if someone is killed or injured as a result of the underage drinking.
Some parents may think of underage drinking as inevitable and may feel that by allowing their children and their children’s friends to drink at home, they are helping to keep them safe. The consequences for all parties, however, are severe.
Underage drinking is a crime, not a right. Because of this, it is important for you to seek the services of an experienced criminal attorney if you or your child are facing charges. If your child has been accused of underage drinking or if you have been accused of enabling underage drinking, contact The Rotolo Law Firm. Protect your rights and your children’s rights. Call The Rotolo Law Firm today.