The Jersey Shore is NOT a College Campus; Police Officers Will Crack Down!
Some realities many young summer enthusiasts may not be aware of are the consequences related to underage alcohol-related offenses. As college students and others under the legal drinking age celebrate their summer, many are sure to have a sour taste in their mouth after being caught consuming alcohol illegally. Underage drinking charges are prevalent within Ocean and Monmouth County, especially in towns where popular bars and nightclubs are located, such as in Belmar, Lake Como, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant Beach.
Penalties of Drinking Underage at the Jersey Shore
New Jersey Statute 2C:33-15 states the penalties associated with underage possession or consumption of alcohol. As many may not know, simply possessing alcohol while underage can carry the same penalties as underage consumption of alcohol. If you are caught drinking or possessing alcohol while under the legal age in any public place or school, you can be charged with a disorderly persons offense and fined no less than $500. The maximum fine for a disorderly persons offense is $1,000.00. The court may also require you to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program as an additional penalty.
If the offense is committed in a motor vehicle, the Court could suspend or postpone for six months your driver's license. For example, you are transporting alcohol from a friends house to your house for a late night party and you are pulled over for a motor vehicle violation. The police officer notices the alcohol in your back seat in plain view. After looking at your driver's license he notices you are under 21. You now are receiving a motor vehicle summons and a summons for underage possession of alcohol. Consider the consequences of having your driver's license suspended for six months. How will you get to work during the summer? How will you get to school in the fall? How much fun will it be waiting to get picked up by a friend?
In 2009 the law changed, in the interests of protecting the welfare of those at risk of alcohol poisoning, some circumstances do exist where you can avoid being charged under New Jersey Statute 2C:33-15 in cases of emergency. So please, do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1 if you or another underage person is in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption. An underage person who calls 9-1-1 for medical assistance will be immune from the above mentioned charges. Additionally, up to two other underage drinkers will be immune from such charges if they contact 9-1-1 for another in need of medical assistance. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with underage possession or consumption of alcohol. Obtaining an attorney in these types of matters is important given the penalties. You do not want to loss your driver's license for six months and have the remainder of your summer ruined. An experienced criminal attorney may be able to provide a defense to your matter given the specific facts and circumstance that allowed the police to arrest you.It's great having fun during the summer, but important to remember that drinking or possessing alcohol while under the age of 21 is illegal and could cause you to have an arrest record.
Call Villani & DeLuca for Help with Underage Drinking Charges
If you have been charged with underage drinking at the Jersey Shore, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. A Villani & DeLuca attorney will take the time to discuss your case and outline any possible defenses. Call (732) 709-7757 today for a free initial consultation.