Serving Alcohol to Minors – A Good Way to Ruin Your Party

Is a DWI a Crime in NJ?When police were called to a Colts Neck home at around 10:50 p.m. for a noise complaint, they found a party of over 500 people. The Chief of the Colts Neck Police stated that they discovered a 24 year old man with a stab wound. They also found and a 16 year old girl who had so much to drink that she was unresponsive. Both individuals were taken to area hospitals. A Eighteen year old Colts Neck resident, was arrested. She has been charged with serving alcohol to minors.

People under the age of 21 are not allowed by law to consume alcohol for a reason. It is safe to say that teenagers, especially 16 year olds, do not have the same decision making skills as adults. Someone consuming alcohol for the first time has no idea how much or how little they can drink before they are intoxicated. In a party setting, people are often encouraged or even pressured to drink more than they should. Consider what would have happened if this 16 year old girl have died from alcohol poisoning?

N.J.S.A. 2C-33-17 – Providing Alcohol to an Underage Person / Serving Alcohol to Minors

If you knowingly provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21 in New Jersey or encourage that person to drink alcohol, you are guilty of a disorderly person’s offense. You can be charged with this offense even if you are not at home. If you make your house or rental property available to minors who are going to be drinking, you will also be guilty of a disorderly person’s offense. There are a few exceptions to this statute. If you are the parent or guardian of the underage person, or if the parent or guardian are present and give permission, then this statute does not apply. In addition, a person under the age of 21 can drink alcoholic beverages during a religious ceremony.

The charges for serving alcohol to someone under the age of 21 in New Jersey include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail. If a minor is injured at a party where you served alcohol, additional charges could apply. If you provide alcohol to a minor and then that person drives and causes an accident, anyone injured could file a lawsuit against you. This could include medical bills, pain and suffering and attorney’s fees.

Call Today for a Free Consultation

The consequences of serving alcohol to a minor can be quite serious. The experienced attorneys at Villani & DeLuca can assist you with your case.  Call 732-965-3350 today for a free consultation.