Providing Alcohol to Minors: N.J.S. 2C:33-17

Providing alcohol to minors is a criminal offense in New Jersey under N.J.S. 2C:33-17. This is known as a disorderly persons offense which includes up to six (6) months in the county jail, up to a $1,000.00 fine, and a permanent criminal charge on your record if convicted. This conviction can be expunged off your record after five (5) years in certain circumstances depending on any other criminal history. These charges will be handled in the Municipal Court in the municipality in which the arrest was made. For example, if you are arrested for providing alcohol to minors in Sea Bright, New Jersey, this matter will be handled in the Sea Bright Municipal Court. The statute governing charges for providing alcohol to minors states in pertinent part:

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

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.