Many older high school students often look forward to the end of spring in New Jersey. Not only are they getting closer to summer vacation, but some of them will be finishing up high school within the next few weeks.

This means that there are plenty of graduation parties they will be attending. While these are great ways to socialize with fellow classmates before they part ways, many students also use this as an opportunity to drink alcohol and potentially put their futures in danger. As a parent, you should be aware of the consequences of underage drinking and driving so you can convince your child to avoid doing so.

Zero tolerance law

Like the rest of the nation, New Jersey has zero tolerance laws in place for underage drivers. If a driver under 21 years of age is found with just a .01 BAC level, then they will be charged for underage drinking and driving. The typical penalties include:

  • Loss of driving privileges for 30 to 90 days
  • 15 to 30 days of community service
  • Mandatory participation in an alcohol safety education program

Underage drivers can also face charges of possessing or purchasing alcohol and receive additional fines. If have a .08 BAC level at the time of their arrest, then they will receive even harsher adult penalties that includes imprisonment and jail rime.

Punishments outside of the law

The underage driver’s problems include more than losing driving privileges. If their college of choice gets word of their mistake, it could potentially affect the teen’s scholarship or enrollment to the university. It will also make it more difficult for them to acquire a new job in the near future.

Make sure you speak to your child about the dangers of alcohol around this time of year as soon as you can. Remind them of all the consequences that can occur if they receive DWI charges and make sure to set a good example in front of them.

However, not all teenagers facing underage DWI charges are guilty. Police are well aware of how many graduation parties are going on around this time of year and may make a mistake on who they choose to pull over. If your child’s future is at risk due to a wrongful accusation, contact a DWI attorney to help you with your case.