What Happens If I Am Arrested for a DWI with a Minor in the Car in New Jersey?
Being pulled over and arrested for intoxicated driving is stressful. You could face serious penalties, especially if there is a minor in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest. Our state has enhanced penalties for drunk driving offenses if there is a child or minor teenager in the car. In this article, our New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney provides a comprehensive overview of DWI with a minor passenger charge.
Know the Law: New Jersey’s DUI With a Minor Passenger Statute
New Jersey has a specific state statute for DUI with a minor passenger: (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.15). The law defines a minor as any person under the age of 18. Under this statute, a person is guilty of an enhanced offense if they are found to be driving while intoxicated with a minor in the car.
An Overview of Penalties for a DUI With a Minor in the Car in New Jersey
A driver arrested for a DWI with a minor in the vehicle can face a wide range of penalties. The penalties for this type of offense are more severe than they are for a DUI offense with adult passengers. More specifically, a person arrested for a DUI with a minor in the vehicle could face the following:
- A mandatory fine of $1,000;
- A mandatory driver’s license suspension for a period of up to 6 months;
- Community service for a period of up to 5 days; and
- Required attendance at an alcohol and traffic safety education program.
Defending a DUI With a Minor Passenger Charge in New Jersey
Every person arrested and charged with an intoxicated driving offense in New Jersey is presumed innocent until proven guilty—a DUI with a minor passenger is no exception. You have a right to defend yourself against the charge. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can help. Possible defense strategies include:
- Questioning the legality of the traffic stop or the probable cause for the arrest;
- Challenging the accuracy and reliability of the breath, blood, or urine test results;
- Investigating whether field sobriety tests were properly administered; and
- Presenting evidence of an alternative explanation for any alleged signs of intoxication.
Of course, in some cases, the most sensible defense strategy for a DUI with a minor passenger charge is to focus on limiting the penalties. No matter your situation, a New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney can review the case and determine the best course of action.
Contact Our New Jersey DWI Minor in the Car Defense Lawyer Today
At the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, our New Jersey DWI/DUI defense attorney is an experienced advocate for clients. If you or your loved one was arrested and charged with DUI with a minor in the car, we are more than ready to help. Contact us today to arrange a completely confidential initial appointment. With our office in Haddonfield, we defend DWI/DUI arrests throughout South New Jersey.