Charged With Non-Driving Alcohol Offenses

Purchasing Alcohol When Under Age

Your child gets caught with a six pack of beer at a party, the beach, or at a friend’s house. Under New Jersey law, the purchase of alcoholic beverages by a minor under legal age or purchased by another for a minor under age is a disorderly person’s offense which will result in a fine(s) and suspension of your driver’s license, and participation in a mandatory alcohol education and treatment program.

The law reads that it is unlawful for:

  1. A person under legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages or to enter any licensed store for the purchase of or being served to him or her, any alcoholic beverage; or
  2. If a person under the legal age for purchasing alcoholic beverages consumes any alcoholic beverage at a licensed bar or club or purchases or attempts to purchase for another any alcoholic beverage who is underage, and;
  3. No person is allowed to misrepresent or misstate his or her age, or the age of any other person for the purpose of purchasing alcohol or causing another to sell, serve or deliver any alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age; or
  4. Any person who enters any premises or licensed bar or the liquor store for the purpose of purchasing, for another person, alcoholic beverages who does not have the right to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages on their own.

If you are found to have to violated any of the provisions of this law you are deemed to be a disorderly person, and upon conviction, can be punished by a fine of not less than $500, and in addition, the court can suspend or postpone the child’s driver’s license for six months which commences on the day the sentence is imposed and runs for a period of six months after he or she reaches the age of 17 years.

If your child, at the time of sentence has a valid driver’ license issued by New Jersey state, the court will immediately collect the license and forward it to New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles.

In addition to the general penalties prescribed for an offense, the court may require any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who violates this law to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program authorized by the Department of Health for a period not to exceed the maximum period of confinement prescribed by law for the offense for which the individual has been convicted.

If you have been charged with a non-driving alcohol offense, contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. an experienced New Jersey alcohol defense attorney toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. He will be happy to meet with you to answer any questions you may have.

Possession or Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages in a Public Place or Motor Vehicle by a Person under the Legal Age (a Minor)

Read your local or weekly newspaper lately? Every Monday or so there appears a story about the police raiding a house or neighborhood party and arresting all the kids under 21 for underage drinking. Guess what? They are going to Juvenile or Municipal Court. The law is pretty clear on the charge(s). It reads:

“Any person under the legal age (21) who purchases alcoholic beverages or who knowingly possesses, consumes an alcoholic beverage in any school, public transportation, public place, or place where others are present, or in a motor vehicle, is guilty of a disorderly person’s offense, and must be fined not less than $500”.

Whenever the offense is committed in a car, the court must, in addition to the sentence authorized above, suspend or postpone for six months the child’s driving license. Talk about excessive punishment. If convicted under this section of the statute the court is supposed to send a report to the Division of Motor Vehicles. If a person at the time of the sentence is less than 17 years of age, the license postponement, or suspension commences on the day the sentence is imposed and runs for a period of six months after the person reaches the age of 17 years.

If you require assistance with an underage drinking charge, contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. He will be happy to answer your questions.

The Motor Vehicle Point System: A Treacherous Landmine for New Jersey Drivers

Points are assessed against your driving record for moving violations, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:5-30.6, as a result of conviction in the Municipal Court. Below is the New Jersey DMV Guide pertaining to points and surcharges and a listing of points to be assessed for moving violations. If you accumulate twelve or more points within two years or less, your license will be suspended for thirty days. If fifteen or more points are accumulated in a period greater than two years, there also shall be a thirty-day suspension. However, if the driver accumulates at least twelve, but fewer than fifteen points in a period greater than two years, his or her license shall be suspended for thirty days unless the driver sends notice to the Division of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the date of mailing the proposed suspension indicating that he or she intends to attend an approved Driver Improvement Course.

Suspensions are effective fifteen days from the date of mailing of the notice by the Division of Motor Vehicles. In the event you fail to appear at any scheduled hearing or fail to attend class, your driver’s license will be suspended for thirty days or such time as is contained in the proposed notice of suspension, whichever is greater.

If a driver successfully completes a Drivers’ Improvement Course, his or her license can remain valid. However, if the driver receives one moving violation within the first year after completing the course, there is a forty-five day suspension. If a second offense is committed within one year of completion, the suspension is for ninety days.

A hearing concerning disputed points or other discrepancies concerning a driver’s record are conducted by Administrative Law Judges in what is known as an Administrative Law Hearing.

New Jersey Administrative Code  – Motor Vehicle Point System

NJSA Section Offense

Points

New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway
27:23–29 Moving against traffic

2

27:23–29 Improper passing

4

27:23–29 Unlawful use of median strip

2

All roads and highways
39:3–20 Operating constructor vehicle in excess of 45 mph

3

39:4–14.3 Operating motorized bicycle on a restricted highway

2

39:4–14.3d More than one person on a motorized bicycle

2

39:4–35 Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk

2

39:4–36 Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk; passing a vehicle yielding to pedestrian in crosswalk

2

39:4– 41 Driving through safety zone

2

39:4–52 Racing on highway

5

39:4–55 Improper action or omission on grades and curves

2

39:4–57 Failure to observe direction of officer

2

39:4–66 Failure to stop vehicle before crossing sidewalk

2

39:4–66.1 Failure to yield to pedestrians or vehicles while entering or leaving highway

2

39:4–66.2 Driving on public or private property to avoid a traffic sign or signal

2

39:4–71 Operating a motor vehicle on a sidewalk

2

39:4–80 Failure to obey direction of officer

2

39:4–81 Failure to observe traffic signals* (Red Light Camera- 0 pts.)

2

*No points assessed for red light camera violation

0

39:4–82 Failure to keep right

2

39:4–82.1 Improper operating of vehicle on divided highway or divider

2

39:4–83 Failure to keep right at intersection

2

39:4–84 Failure to pass to right of vehicle proceeding in opposite direction

5

39:4–85 Improper passing on right or off roadway

4

39:4–85.1 Wrong way on a one-way street

2

39:4–86 Improper passing in no passing zone

4

39:4–87 Failure to yield to overtaking vehicle

2

39:4–88 Failure to observe traffic lanes

2

39:4–89 Tailgating

5

39:4–90 Failure to yield at intersection

2

39:4–90.1 Failure to use proper entrances to limited access highways

2

39:4–91–92 Failure to yield to emergency vehicles

2

39:4–96 Reckless driving

5

39:4–97 Careless driving

2

39:4–97a Destruction of agricultural or recreational property

2

39:4–97.1 Slow speed blocking traffic

2

39:4–97.2 Driving in an unsafe manner (points only for third or subsequent offense within five years of most recent 39:4-97.2 conviction)

4

39:4–98 Exceeding maximum speed 1-14 mph over limit

2

Exceeding maximum speed 15-29 mph over limit

4

Exceeding maximum speed 30 mph or more over limit

5

39:4–105 Failure to stop for traffic light

2

39:4–115 Improper turn at traffic light

3

39:4–119 Failure to stop at flashing red signal

2

39:4–122 Failure to stop for police whistle

2

39:4–123 Improper right or left turn

3

39:4–124 Improper turn from approved turning course

3

39:4–125 Improper U-turn

3

39:4–126 Failure to give proper signal

2

39:4–127 Improper backing or turning in street

2

39:4–127.1 Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing

2

39:4–127.2 Improper crossing of bridge

2

39:4–128 Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing by certain vehicles

2

39:4–128.1 Improper passing of school bus

5

39:4–128.4 Improper passing of frozen dessert truck

4

39:4–129 Leaving the scene of an accident –no personal injury

2

Personal injury

8

39:4–144 Failure to observe stop or yield signs

2

39:5C–1 Racing on highway

5

39:5D–4 Moving violation committed out-of-state

2