The legal blood-alcohol content limit when driving in New Jersey is 0.08 percent. For those under the legal drinking age of 21, a BAC of just 0.01 percent can result in drunk driving charges. In fact, simply possessing alcohol in a motor vehicle can lead to criminal charges for a minor.

These tough laws can lead to harsh outcomes for young New Jersey residents. For example, colleges often run background checks on prospective students, and a conviction for driving while intoxicated can cause schools to deny enrollment opportunities and revoke scholarships.

A young Absecon man is facing DWI charges after being arrested last week. The 20-year-old had gotten into a car accident, in which he suffered minor injuries, leading to his arrest.

In addition to DWI-related charges, he faces a summons for careless driving.

It is unclear whether the man took a breath test and, if so, whether his BAC was suggested to be over the 0.01 percent limit or the 0.08 percent limit.

Breath test results are not always accurate, and they can be particularly misleading in terms of the low 0.01 percent threshold. This is because a number of things other than alcohol can cause such a low BAC reading.

New Jersey is very tough on underage drinking and underage DWI. As noted above, the penalties for a conviction can far outlast any formal sentence ordered by a court, so it is important for the young defendants of these crimes to obtain legal representation and protect their rights.

Source: Press of Atlantic City, “Absecon driver, 20, charged with DWI after single-car crash on Brigantine Boulevard,” Sept. 3, 2013