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Underage drinking is a widespread problem in New Jersey, and a conviction for underage drinking can have severe consequences. Consumption or possession of alcohol in public by a person under the age of 21 is a crime punishable by a fine of $500 or more and, if the offense occurs in a motor vehicle, suspension or postponement of driving privileges for up to six months (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15). Many boroughs and townships have stricter local ordinances with hefty fines for underage drinking in addition to the state’s prohibitions.

It is not only the underage drinker who risks punishment — parents and care providers are subject to significant fines and jail terms when they are involved in underage drinking. For example, it is a crime punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail to serve or sell alcohol to an underage person (2C:33-17a). It is also a crime punishable in the same manner for an adult to provide private premises for underage drinking (2C:33-17b). Parents and care providers are subject to even stricter penalties than the underage drinkers themselves.

If you are the parent of a minor who has been accused of or convicted for underage drinking, or you have been accused or convicted of selling or providing minors with alcohol, you need an experienced attorney. Call 732-247-3340 or e-mail New Jersey defense attorneys at Jack Venturi Law today.