It is nearly every parent’s nightmare to find out a child has been injured or killed in a car accident or arrested for causing a drunk driving crash. Tragically, this nightmare is all too real for many families in New Jersey. Underage drinking is a major cause of accidents for teenagers and young adults across the country, resulting in many innocent people being seriously injured or killed.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, car crashes are the top cause of death for teenagers throughout the United States. About one fourth of accidents resulting in a teen fatality involved someone under the age of 21 who had been drinking and driving. Many parents may not realize that their children are drinking at all when they go out with their friends; however, a disturbingly large portion of teenagers begin drinking at an early age. Those who started drinking alcohol early are seven times more likely than those who don’t drink to be in a crash that involved alcohol.
According to the State of New Jersey’s website, serious consequences await underage drinkers, especially when they drink and drive. These may include:
- A possible $500 fine
- Driver’s license suspension for 30 to 90 days
- Up to 30 days of community service
- Completion of an alcohol education program or treatment
It is important to understand that these laws are not meant to harshly punish those who drink while underage, but to protect them and others from being harmed in drunk driving accidents. There are far worse consequences for those who injure or kill someone in a car accident, including thousands of dollars in fines and prison time. Those who were impacted by an intoxicated driver’s actions may also seek compensation from the person responsible for the crash.