Search

NJ underage alcohol use. A guide for the underaged individual to be informed of the risks involved.


 

Under New Jersey State Law (2C:33-15) it is illegal for a person under 21 years of age to purchase, drink, or possess an alcoholic beverage in a public place, motor vehicle, or school.


Individuals over age 18 but under age 21 will face charges as an adult, while those under 18 will be charged with a juvenile offense.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2C:33-15

2C:33-15 Possession, consumption by persons under legal age; penalty.

1. a. (1) Any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages, or under the legal age to purchase cannabis items, who knowingly possesses without legal authority or who knowingly consumes any alcoholic beverage, cannabis item, marijuana, or hashish in any school, public conveyance, public place, or place of public assembly, or motor vehicle shall be subject to the following consequences:


(a) for a first violation, a written warning issued by a law enforcement officer to the underage person. The written warning shall include the person's name, address, and date of birth, and a copy of the warning containing this information, plus a sworn statement that includes a description of the relevant facts and circumstances that support the officer's determination that the person committed the violation, shall be temporarily maintained in accordance with this section only for the purposes of determining a second or subsequent violation subject to the consequences set forth in subparagraph (b) or (c) of this paragraph. If the violation of this section is by a person under 18 years of age, a written notification concerning the violation shall be provided to the parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of the underage person in accordance with section 3 of P.L.1991, c.169 (C.33:1-81.1a).


(b) for a second violation, a written warning issued by a law enforcement officer to the underage person indicating that a second violation has occurred, which includes the person's name, address, and date of birth. If the violation is by a person 18 years of age or older, the officer shall provide the person with informational materials about how to access community services provided by public or private agencies and organizations that shall assist the person with opportunities to access further social services, including but not limited to counseling, tutoring programs, mentoring services, and faith-based or other community initiatives. If the violation is by a person under 18 years of age, a written notification concerning the second violation shall be provided to the parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of the underage person in accordance with section 3 of P.L.1991, c.169 (C.33:1-81.1a). The written notification shall include the same or similar informational materials about how to access community services provided by public or private agencies and organizations as those provided directly by a law enforcement officer to a person 18 years of age or older who commits a second violation of this paragraph. A copy of the second written warning to the underage person, and, if applicable, the written notification to the parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of the underage person concerning the second warning, plus a sworn statement that includes a description of the relevant facts and circumstances that support the officer's determination that the person committed the second violation, shall be temporarily maintained in accordance with this section only for the purposes of determining a subsequent violation subject to the consequences set forth in subparagraph (c) of this paragraph.


(c) for a third or subsequent violation, a write-up issued by a law enforcement officer to the underage person indicating that a third or subsequent violation has occurred, which includes the person's name, address, and date of birth. If the violation is by a person 18 years of age or older, the officer shall include with the write-up a referral for accessing community services provided by a public or private agency or organization, and provide notice to that agency or organization of the referral which may also be used to initiate contact with the person, and the agency or organization shall offer assistance to the person with opportunities to access further social services, including but not limited to counseling, tutoring programs, mentoring services, and faith-based or other community initiatives. If the violation is by a person under 18 years of age, a written notification concerning the third or subsequent violation shall be provided to the parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of the underage person in accordance with section 3 of P.L.1991, c.169 (C.33:1-81.1a). The written notification shall include a referral for the person and the parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of the underage person for accessing community services provided by a public or private agency or organization, and provide notice to that agency or organization of the referral which may also then be used to initiate contact with both persons, and the agency or organization shall offer assistance to both with opportunities to access further social services, including counseling, tutoring programs, mentoring services, and faith-based or other community initiatives. A copy of a write-up for a third or subsequent violation, the written notification to the parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of the underage person, if applicable, and accompanying referrals, plus a sworn statement that includes a description of the relevant facts and circumstances that support the officer's determination that the person committed the third or subsequent violation, shall be temporarily maintained in accordance with this section only to the extent necessary to track referrals to agencies and organizations, as well as for the purposes of determining a subsequent violation subject to the consequences set forth in this subparagraph.

The failure of a person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages or cannabis items, or the failure of a parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of the underage person, to accept assistance from an agency or organization to which a law enforcement referral was made, or to access any community services provided by that agency or organization shall not result in any summons, initiation of a complaint, or other legal action to be adjudicated and enforced in any court.


(2) (a) A person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages or cannabis items is not capable of giving lawful consent to a search to determine a violation of this section, and a law enforcement officer shall not request that a person consent to a search for that purpose.


(b) The odor of an alcoholic beverage, marijuana, hashish, cannabis, or cannabis item, or burnt marijuana, hashish, cannabis, or cannabis item, shall not constitute reasonable articulable suspicion to initiate an investigatory stop of a person, nor shall it constitute probable cause to initiate a search of a person or that person's personal property to determine a violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection. Additionally, the unconcealed possession of an alcoholic beverage, marijuana, hashish, or cannabis item in violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection, observed in plain sight by a law enforcement officer, shall not constitute probable cause to initiate a search of a person or that person's personal property to determine any further violation of that paragraph or any other violation of law. (3) A person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages or cannabis items who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection for possessing or consuming an alcoholic beverage, marijuana, hashish, or a cannabis item shall not be subject to arrest, shall not be transported to a police station, police headquarters, or other place of law enforcement operations, and shall not otherwise be subject to detention or be taken into custody by a law enforcement officer at or near the location where the violation occurred, except to the extent that detention or custody at or near the location is required to issue a written warning or write-up, collect the information necessary to provide notice of a violation to a parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of the underage person in accordance with section 3 of P.L.1991, c.169 (C.33:1-81a), or make referrals for accessing community services provided by a public or private agency or organization due to a third or subsequent violation, unless the person is being arrested, detained, or otherwise taken into custody for also committing another violation of law for which that action is legally permitted or required.


(4) Consistent with the provisions of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.2020, c.129 (C.40A:14-118.5), the video and audio recording functions of a law enforcement officer's body worn camera, as defined in that section, shall be activated whenever the law enforcement officer is responding to a call for service related to a violation or suspected violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection for possessing or consuming an alcoholic beverage, marijuana, hashish, or a cannabis item, or at the initiation of any other law enforcement or investigative encounter between an officer and a person related to a violation or suspected violation of that paragraph, and shall remain activated until the encounter has fully concluded and the officer leaves the scene of the encounter; provided, however, that the video and audio recording functions of a body worn camera shall not be deactivated pursuant to subparagraph (a) of paragraph (2) of subsection c. of P.L.2020, c.129 (C.40A:14-118.5), based on a request to deactivate the camera by a person who is the subject of a responsive call for service or law enforcement or investigative encounter related to a violation or suspected violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection.


(5) As part of the process for the issuance of a written warning or write-up to a person for a violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the law enforcement officer shall take possession of any alcoholic beverage, marijuana, hashish, or cannabis item from the person, and any drug or cannabis paraphernalia for use with any marijuana, hashish, or cannabis item. The existence and description of the alcoholic beverage, marijuana, hashish, or cannabis item, and any drug or cannabis paraphernalia shall be included in the sworn statement that includes a description of the relevant facts and circumstances that support the officer's determination that the person committed a violation, and which record is temporarily maintained in accordance with this section to determine subsequent possession or consumption violations, and track referrals for accessing community services provided by a public or private agency or organization due to a third or subsequent violation. Any alcoholic beverage, marijuana, hashish, cannabis item, or drug or cannabis paraphernalia obtained by the law enforcement officer shall either be destroyed or secured for use in law enforcement training or educational programs in accordance with applicable law and directives issued by the Attorney General.


(6) With respect to any violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection concerning the possession or consumption of an alcoholic beverage, marijuana, hashish, or any cannabis item:


(a) a person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages or cannabis items shall not be photographed or fingerprinted, notwithstanding any provisions of section 2 of P.L.1982, c.79 (C.2A:4A-61) to the contrary;


(b) (i) any copy of any written warning or write-up issued to a person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages or cannabis items, written notification provided to the person's parent, guardian or other person having legal custody in accordance with section 3 of P.L.1991, c.169 (C.33:1-81.1a), sworn statement describing the relevant facts and circumstances that support an officer's determination that a person committed a violation, or referrals for accessing community services provided by a public or private agency or organization pertaining to a third or subsequent violation shall be segregated and maintained in a separate physical location or electronic repository or database from any other records maintained by a law enforcement agency, and reported to the Attorney General in a manner so that they are similarly segregated and maintained in a separate physical location or electronic repository or database from other law enforcement records accessible to the Attorney General and State and local law enforcement agencies, and shall not be transferred to or copied and placed in any other physical location or electronic repository or database containing any other law enforcement records. These records shall only be used to the extent necessary to determine a subsequent violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection or to track referrals to agencies and organizations, and shall not be revealed, reviewed, or considered in any manner with respect to any current or subsequent juvenile delinquency matter, including but not limited to, a charge, filing, eligibility or decision for diversion or discharge, or sentencing, other disposition, or related decision affecting the juvenile, or with respect to any current or subsequent prosecution for committing an offense or other violation of law, including but not limited to, a charge, filing, eligibility or decision for diversion or discharge, or sentencing, other disposition, or related decision affecting an adult under 21 years of age. Also, these records shall be deemed confidential and shall not be subject to public inspection or copying pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.), and their existence shall not be acknowledged based upon any inquiry in the same manner as if the records were expunged records pursuant to the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:52-15.

The Attorney General may use the records described herein to generate the number of occurrences and other statistics concerning first, second, third and subsequent violations of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the municipal, county or other geographic areas within which first, second, third and subsequent violations occur, and the law enforcement agencies involved in first, second, third and subsequent violations, which are to be compiled and made available by the Attorney General in accordance with section 4 of P.L.2021, c.25 (C.2C:33-15.1). The identity of any person named in a record shall not be revealed or included in the information to be compiled and made available in accordance with that section.

The records of violations shall only be maintained temporarily and shall be destroyed or permanently deleted as set forth in subparagraph (c) of this paragraph.


(ii) any records pertaining to a person's acceptance of assistance from an agency or organization to which a law enforcement referral was made shall not be revealed, reviewed, or considered in any manner with respect to any current or subsequent juvenile delinquency matter, including but not limited to, a charge, filing, eligibility or decision for diversion or discharge, or sentencing, other disposition, or related decision affecting the juvenile, or with respect to any current or subsequent prosecution for committing an offense or other violation of law, including but not limited to, a charge, filing, eligibility or decision for diversion or discharge, or sentencing, other disposition, or related decision affecting an adult under 21 years of age. Also, these records shall be deemed confidential and shall not be subject to public inspection or copying pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.), and their existence shall not be acknowledged based upon any inquiry in the same manner as if the records were expunged records pursuant to the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:52-15.


(c) All of the records maintained by a law enforcement agency and reported to the Attorney General as described in subsubparagraph (i) of subparagraph (b) of this paragraph shall be destroyed or permanently deleted by the law enforcement agency and Attorney General on the second anniversary following the creation of the record concerning a violation, or not later than the last day of the month in which that second anniversary date falls, or alternatively not later than the 21st birthday of a person who is the subject of a record, or not later than the last day of the month in which that birthday falls, whichever date occurs sooner, except that a record shall be maintained upon request by the person named in the record or representative thereof, the law enforcement officer who made the record, or the law enforcement agency currently maintaining the record if it involves a lawsuit, disciplinary complaint, or criminal prosecution arising from the violation described in the record, based on an assertion that the record has evidentiary or exculpatory value. Upon final disposition of the matter for which the extended record retention was requested, the record shall be destroyed or permanently deleted.


(d) A law enforcement officer shall be guilty of the crime of official deprivation of civil rights as set forth in section 3 of P.L.2021, c.25 (C.2C:30-6.1) for violating the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection that address law enforcement actions involving persons who are under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages or cannabis items.

b. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2021, c.25)

c. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2021, c.25)


d. Nothing in this act shall apply to possession of alcoholic beverages by any such person while actually engaged in the performance of employment pursuant to an employment permit issued by the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or for a bona fide hotel or restaurant, in accordance with the provisions of R.S.33:1-26, or while actively engaged in the preparation of food while enrolled in a culinary arts or hotel management program at a county vocational school or post-secondary educational institution; and nothing in this section shall apply to possession of cannabis items by any such person while actually engaged in the performance of employment by a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service as permitted pursuant to the "New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act," P.L.2021, c.16 (C.24:6I-31 et al.).


e. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the provisions of section 3 of P.L.1991, c.169 (C.33:1-81.1a) shall apply to a parent, guardian or other person with legal custody of a person under 18 years of age who is found to be in violation of this section.

f. An underage person and one or two other persons shall be immune from prosecution under this section if:


(1) one of the underage persons called 9-1-1 and reported that another underage person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption, or the consumption of marijuana, hashish, or a cannabis item;


(2) the underage person who called 9-1-1 and, if applicable, one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who called 9-1-1 provided each of their names to the 9-1-1 operator;


(3) the underage person was the first person to make the 9-1-1 report; and


(4) the underage person and, if applicable, one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who made the 9-1-1 call remained on the scene with the person under the legal age in need of medical assistance until assistance arrived and cooperated with medical assistance and law enforcement personnel on the scene.

The underage person who received medical assistance also shall be immune from prosecution under this section.


g. For purposes of this section, an alcoholic beverage includes powdered alcohol as defined by R.S.33:1-1, a cannabis item includes any item available for lawful consumption pursuant to the "New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act," P.L.2021, c.16 (C.24:6I-31 et al.), and the terms "marijuana" and "hashish" have the same meaning as set forth in N.J.S.2C:35-2, and the terms "drug paraphernalia" and "cannabis paraphernalia" have the same meaning as set forth in N.J.S.2C:36-1 and section 3 of P.L.2021, c.16 (C.24:6I-33), respectively.

L.1979, c.264, s.1; amended 1991, c.169, s.2; 1997, c.161; 2009, c.133, s.1; 2015, c.137, s.3; 2021, c.16, s.73; 2021, c.25, s.2; 2021, c.38.

 

Underage Purchase of Alcohol is prohibited and there is NO ALLOWANCE for youth purchase for law enforcement purposes


N.J. Rev. Stat. § 33:1-81


Universal Citation: NJ Rev Stat § 33:1-81 (2021)

33:1-81 Misrepresenting age to induce sale or delivery to minor; disorderly person.

33:1-81. It shall be unlawful for:

(a) A person under the legal age for purchasing alcoholic beverages to enter any premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of purchasing, or having served or delivered to him or her, any alcoholic beverage; or

(b) A person under the legal age for purchasing alcoholic beverages to consume any alcoholic beverage on premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages, or to purchase, attempt to purchase or have another purchase for him any alcoholic beverage; or

(c) Any person to misrepresent or misstate his age, or the age of any other person for the purpose of inducing any licensee or any employee of any licensee, to sell, serve or deliver any alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age for purchasing alcoholic beverages; or

(d) Any person to enter any premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of purchasing, or to purchase alcoholic beverages, for another person who does not because of his age have the right to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed and adjudged to be a disorderly person, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.

In addition to the general penalties prescribed for an offense, the court may require any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who violates this act to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program authorized by the Department of Health for a period not to exceed the maximum period of confinement prescribed by law for the offense for which the individual has been convicted.


 

Bringing Alcoholic Beverages onto School Property.

NJSA 2C:33-16 Bringing alcoholic beverages, cannabis items onto school property; disorderly person.


1. Any person of legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages or cannabis items, who, in the case of alcoholic beverages, knowingly and without the express written permission of the school board, its delegated authority, or any school principal, brings or possesses any alcoholic beverages, or in the case of cannabis items, brings, possesses, or consumes, including by smoking, vaping, or aerosolizing, any cannabis items, on any property used for school purposes which is owned by any school or school board, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. For purposes of this section, an alcoholic beverage includes powdered alcohol as defined by R.S.33:1-1, and a cannabis item includes any item available for lawful consumption pursuant to the "New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act," P.L.2021, c.16 (C.24:6I-31 et al.).

 

Underage Drinking: Use/Lose: Driving Privileges

Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:


  • Underage purchase

Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 21

Authority to impose driver's license sanction


  • mandatory

Length of suspension/revocation: 180 days

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 33:1-8


Universal Citation: NJ Rev Stat § 33:1-81 (2021)

33:1-81 Misrepresenting age to induce sale or delivery to minor; disorderly person.

33:1-81. It shall be unlawful for:

(a) A person under the legal age for purchasing alcoholic beverages to enter any premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of purchasing, or having served or delivered to him or her, any alcoholic beverage; or

(b) A person under the legal age for purchasing alcoholic beverages to consume any alcoholic beverage on premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages, or to purchase, attempt to purchase or have another purchase for him any alcoholic beverage; or

(c) Any person to misrepresent or misstate his age, or the age of any other person for the purpose of inducing any licensee or any employee of any licensee, to sell, serve or deliver any alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age for purchasing alcoholic beverages; or

(d) Any person to enter any premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of purchasing, or to purchase alcoholic beverages, for another person who does not because of his age have the right to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed and adjudged to be a disorderly person, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.

In addition to the general penalties prescribed for an offense, the court may require any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who violates this act to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program authorized by the Department of Health for a period not to exceed the maximum period of confinement prescribed by law for the offense for which the individual has been co



Title 9 - Children--Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts

Section 9:17B-1 - Legislative findings

Universal Citation: NJ Rev Stat § 9:17B-1 (2021)

9:17B-1. Legislative findings The Legislature finds and declares and by this act intends, pending the revision and amendment of the many statutory provisions involved, to:

a. Extend to persons 18 years of age and older the basic civil and contractual rights and obligations heretofore applicable only to persons 21 years of age or older, including the right to contract, sue, be sued and defend civil actions, apply for and be appointed to public employment, apply for and be granted a license or authority to engage in a business or profession subject to State regulation, serve on juries, marry, adopt children, attend and participate in horse race meetings and parimutuel betting and other legalized games and gaming, except as otherwise provided in subsection c. of this section, sell alcoholic beverages, act as an incorporator, registered agent or director of a corporation, consent to medical and surgical treatment, execute a will, and to inherit, purchase, mortgage or otherwise encumber and convey real and personal property.

b. Extend to persons 21 years of age and older the right to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages on January 1, 1983, provided that anyone attaining the age to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages legally prior to January 1, 1983, shall retain that right. Nothing in this act shall preclude any licensee under R.S. 33:1-1 et seq. from making purchases in the regular course of his licensed activities.

c. Extend to persons at or over the age at which a person is authorized to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages, heretofore applicable only to persons 18 years of age or older, the right to attend and participate in casino gaming. Nothing in this act shall preclude any licensee under the "Casino Control Act," P.L.1977, c. 110 (C. 5:12-1 et seq.) from attending and participating in casino gaming in the regular course of his licensed activities.

d. Abolish the right of a person between the ages of 18 and 21 years to disaffirm and be relieved of contractual obligations by reason of age.

 

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2C:33-17


Title 2C - The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice

Section 2C:33-17 - Availability of alcoholic beverages to underaged, offenses.


Universal Citation: NJ Rev Stat § 2C:33-17 (2021)

2C:33-17 Availability of alcoholic beverages to underaged, offenses.

1. a. Anyone who purposely or knowingly offers or serves or makes available an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages or entices or encourages that person to drink an alcoholic beverage is a disorderly person. This subsection shall not apply to a parent or guardian of the person under legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages if the parent or guardian is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages or to a religious observance, ceremony or rite. This subsection shall also not apply to any person in his home who is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages who offers or serves or makes available an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages or entices that person to drink an alcoholic beverage in the presence of and with the permission of the parent or guardian of the person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages if the parent or guardian is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages.

b. A person who makes real property owned, leased or managed by him available to, or leaves that property in the care of, another person with the purpose that alcoholic beverages will be made available for consumption by, or will be consumed by, persons who are under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. This subsection shall not apply if:

(1) the real property is licensed or required to be licensed by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control in accordance with the provisions of R.S.33:1-1 et seq.;

(2) the person making the property available, or leaving it in the care of another person, is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages and is the parent or guardian of the person who consumes alcoholic beverages while under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages; or (3) the alcoholic beverages are consumed by a person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages during a religious observance, ceremony or rite.

c. For purposes of this section, an alcoholic beverage includes powdered alcohol as defined by R.S.33:1-1.

 

https://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/underage-drinking/state-profiles/new-jersey/82

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All