Underage drinking is outlawed in section 2C:33-15 and is officially titled possession, consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under the legal age. Under this statute, a person is guilty if they possess or consume alcohol in a School, public conveyance, public place, place of public assembly, or motor vehicle and they are under the age legal age (21) this offense is a disorderly persons offense and has a minimum fine of $500.00.
In addition to this penalty, if the person is commits the offense in a motor vehicle, there license will be suspended or delayed if they have not yet received it, for a period of six months.
Please note that the prohibited conduct is possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages, not being under the influence of alcoholic beverages. In the past I have successfully used this as a defense to the driving suspension where the consumption and possession took place elsewhere.
There is also a legal immunity under this statute for any minor who calls 9-1-1 to report a need for medical attention for another because of underage alcohol consumption. This immunity will apply to the caller and any person acting in concert with the caller who stays on the scene and gives his name. The immunity also applies to the person receiving medical attention. Basically, the state doesn’t want kids to be harmed because they are afraid of getting in trouble. If you were charged with underage drinking because you got your friend medical help, you can use this as a defense.
Call for a Free Consultation
If you were charged with underage drinking you may have a whole host of legal defenses available to you. Contact my office at (732) 742-5556. I will be happy to discuss your case with you. As always, first consultations are free.