Underage Drinking & Alcohol Possession Charges

Arrest / Summons for Purchasing Alcohol, Underage Drinking and Alcohol Possession By a Minor

As a parent, we have all heard or experienced a child who gets caught with a six pack of beer at a party, the beach, a parent’s or a friend’s house. Under New Jersey law, buying alcoholic beverages by a minor under legal age or purchased by another for a minor underage is a disorderly person’s offense which will result in a fine(s) and suspension of their driver’s license, and participation in a mandatory alcohol education and treatment program.

New Jersey law says 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 your child is found to have to violated any of the provisions of this law, he or she is 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 your driver’s license for six months commencing 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 has a valid driver’ license, the court will immediately collect the license and forward it to New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles in Trenton. Then the fun starts trying to get it back.

The court may also require your child to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program authorized by the Department of Health.

If your child or a person you know has been charged with a non-driving alcohol offense, contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. an experienced New Jersey alcohol defense attorney in the NJ Juvenile Court system toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. He will be happy to meet with you to address the details of your case and answer any questions you may have.

Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a New Jersey Juvenile Court Attorney