Summer in Seaside Heights is an exciting time of the year, but too much fun often leads to illegal conduct such as underage drinking, drunk driving, open container violations, and drinking in public. Unfortunately, these alcohol-related charges can come with expensive fines and penalties that can interfere with your ability to work, drive, and get into college.
Charged with an Alcohol Related Offense - Open Container - Drinking in Public - Underage Drinking in Seaside Heights?
I am Anthony N. Palumbo, a Seaside Heights Public Intoxication & Underage Drinking Charges Lawyer and partner at the Seaside Heights Law Firm Palumbo & Renaud, and if you've run into trouble at the shore with open alcohol container, public intoxication, or underage drinking charges, I can help. With over 35 years of criminal trial experience, I know what's necessary to make sure you receive the lightest punishment possible for your crime and hopefully avoid a future criminal record. Contact me today through the email form on my website or at 1-866-664-8118 for a free initial consultation.
This page should answer some of your immediate questions about public intoxication and underage drinking in New Jersey by explaining the various offenses and their penalties. But please remember that a Seaside Heights Criminal Defense Lawyer is crucial to your defense, and this page is in no way a replacement for consulting with an attorney regarding the facts of your case.
Seaside Heights Public Intoxication
The Seaside Heights Municipal Code prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages or the possession of open containers in any public place or in any public or private motor vehicle. Minors are additionally prohibited from possessing closed alcoholic beverage containers in any public place or in any public or private motor vehicle. Seaside Heights Mun. Code §§ 17-16, 17-17.
A separate code provision states that "no person shall drink, imbibe or consume any alcoholic beverage in or upon a public street, lane, roadway, avenue, sidewalk, public parking place, park, playground, recreation area or any other public or quasi-public place, or in a public conveyance or private motor vehicle while the same is in motion or parked in any public street, lane, public parking lot or public or quasi-public place, or on any private property not his own without the express permission of the owner or other person having authority to grant such permission." Seaside Heights Mun. Code § 154-1.
Any violation of these code provisions is subject to a fine ranging from $100 to $1,250, up to 90 days of imprisonment, and up to 90 days of community service. Seaside Heights Mun. Code §§ 17-19, 154-13.
Seaside Heights Underage Drinking
The Seaside Heights Municipal Code prohibits the purchase, acceptance, or consumption of alcohol by minors, as well as the misrepresentation of a minor's age in order for him to obtain alcohol. Violations are subject to a fine ranging from $100 to $1,250, up to 90 days of imprisonment, and up to 90 days of community service. Seaside Heights Mun. Code §§ 17-10, 17-12, 17-14.
The Seaside Heights prohibition on underage drinking extends to private property, including a friend's house or even your own home. The borough imposes a $250 fine for the first offense and $350 fines for subsequent violations. Offenders may also have their driving privileges suspended or postponed for up to 6 months. Seaside Heights Mun. Code §§ 17-37, 17-38.
In addition to these local regulations, underage drinking is also punishable under state laws prohibiting underage drinking and underage drinking and driving.
Underage Possession or Consumption of Alcohol in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, underage drinking is a disorderly persons offense punishable by a fine of at least $500 and a driver's license suspension lasting up to 6 months. A minor who's convicted for underage drinking can also be required to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program for up to 6 months, and the same penalties are imposed for using a fake I.D. to purchase alcohol.
Underage Drinking and Driving in New Jersey
The charges and penalties for underage drinking and driving in New Jersey depend on a person's blood alcohol content (BAC) when arrested:
- If a minor's BAC is between 0.01% and 0.08%, he'll be charged as a juvenile and subject to penalties including a license suspension for 30 to 90 days and up to 30 days of community service.
- If a minor's BAC is over 0.08%, he'll be charged as an adult under the standard DUI/DWI laws in New Jersey.
In addition to these penalties, a minor who's convicted of underage drinking and driving will be sentenced to an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center or to some other alcohol education program.
Having a Seaside Heights Defense Attorney by Your Side
If your child has been charged with public intoxication or underage drinking, the most important thing you can do is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. You can contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, through the email form on my website or at 1-866-664-8118 for a free and confidential consultation. In addition to my 35 years of experience as a New Jersey criminal defense attorney, I'm also a former prosecutor. Working on both sides of the law has helped me obtain countless downgrades or dismissals for clients accused of underage drinking. I know what the prosecution needs for a conviction and how to negotiate with prosecutors for lesser charges or dismissals, and I'll do everything within my power to ensure the lightest penalty possible.