Teenagers have their whole life ahead of them, and while this can be an exciting and hopeful prospect, it can also be a daunting one, especially when their current actions can negatively affect their future significantly. You may be hoping that your teenage child will go to college in the future, or that they will get a job that enables them to earn a living. Both of these possibilities could be affected by an underage DUI arrest.

If you are worried about your child’s future because they were recently arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should take action to protect them by understanding how the law applies in New Jersey and how you may be able to help them defend themselves. The following is an overview of how DUI law applies to drivers under the age of 21.

Zero tolerance laws

For drivers who are legally allowed to drink, a small amount of alcohol in the blood is permissible when operating a vehicle. Adult drivers can drive legally as long as their blood alcohol percentage (BAC) is under 0.08%. However, for drivers under the age of 21, a BAC of more than 0.01% can be enough to be arrested for an underage DUI.

The legal consequences of an underage DUI

A teen charged with an underage DUI can expect to have to pay a fine and be ordered to engage in community service. They will also lose their driver’s license, typically for a year, and will probably need to go through an alcohol education program.

There can also be longer-term consequences. If already attending college, they may run the risk of being expelled or punished. They may also have difficulty getting into college or getting a job until they can have the DUI expunged.

Therefore, it is important that teenagers aggressively defend themselves against DUI accusations so that they can protect their future opportunities.