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DON’T GET TOO HIGH IN SEASIDE HEIGHTS: Underage Drinking and Public Intoxication By the Shore


As seen on TV: Underage drinking and public intoxication are rampant in Seaside Heights and all along the New Jersey shore during the summer months. Public safety officials are vigilant in enforcing the local and state laws, and the time and money investment involved in arrest and courts, and the possible fines, can be alarming.

If arrested for any alcohol-related crime in Seaside Heights, you would be wise to talk to Tara Breslow-Testa, a Seaside Heights public intoxication lawyer who can help anyone accused of open container, drinking in public, underage drinking and public intoxication in Seaside Heights.

Ms. Breslow-Testa has more than a decade of experience on both sides of the bench, and she understands the give and take between prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys and the accused. Tara Breslow-Testa can ease the possible time and money penalties for alcohol offenses and possibly deflect a criminal record with long-term financial and life resonations. If you are charged with underage drinking, public intoxication or other alcohol-related offenses, call Tara Breslow-Testa at (732) 784-2880



With a resident population is just over 3,000 people which explodes to more than 70,000 people in the July/August peak, Seaside Heights is a beachside borough made famous by the insanely popular TV show Jersey Shore (2009 – 2012).

Fans of Jersey Shore will recall Deena Cortese being arrested by Seaside Heights police for public intoxication in 2012.

This on the heels of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s July 2010 arrest for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct– for which she was subjected to a shameful tongue-lashing by Judge Damien Murray and sentenced to two days of community service and a $535 fine.

The semi-fiction of Jersey Shore is all too real, all summer long in Seaside Heights, where the trained and diligent police force are constantly arresting young people for public intoxication and underage drinking and driving.

And what might be entertaining on television is anything but in real life, as the courts take these offenses very seriously, and can hand down convictions with serious time and money penalties attached, with resonations of criminal records stretching off in the future: suspended license, college and job applications.


MINOR = <21

New Jersey’s legal drinking age was lowered to 18 in 1973, but then returned to 21 in 1982. So anyone under the age of 21 is a minor. According to Seaside Heights Municipal Code § 17-10: No minor shall purchase, accept or consume any alcoholic beverage in or upon any premises licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in this Borough.

Chapter 17 also has statutes regarding minors in businesses licensed to sell alcohol, misrepresenting age to buy alcohol and the penalties are stated: “Any person violating and failing to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of no less than $100 and no more than $1,250, by imprisonment not to exceed 90 days or by community service of not more than 90 days or any combination of fine, imprisonment and community service, as determined in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge.



The state of New Jersey has ranked as high as #17 in the country for underage drinking in the United States and the state has suffered from the enormous cost in lives lost and ruined, property damage and court time. State law classifies underage drinking as a disorderly persons offense which comes with a fine of at least $500 and suspension of driving privileges for up to six months. Anyone convicted of using a fake I.D. to purchase alcohol is subject to those same fines and penalties.


Regardless of age – and what you’ve seen on TV – drinking alcohol in public is illegal in Seaside Heights – and that includes the beach.

The rules against drinking alcohol in public places and vehicles are detailed in Seaside Heights municipal codes Chapter 17, Article III Consumption in Public Places and Motor Vehicles:  “no person shall drink, imbibe or consume any alcoholic beverage in or upon a public street, lane, roadway, avenue, sidewalk, public parking place, park, playground, recreation area or any other public or quasi-public place, or in a public conveyance or private motor vehicle while the same is in motion or parked in any public street, lane, public parking lot or public or quasi-public place, or on any private property not his own without the express permission of the owner or other person having authority to grant such permission.

The penalty for drinking in public is a fine from $100 – $1,250 as many as 90 days in prison and as many as 90 days of community service. Tara Breslow-Testa is a public drinking law attorney who knows how to make the system work in your favor – and ease or eliminate fines and jail time.



New Jersey peace officers and New Jersey courts are beyond fatigued with cleaning up after accidents caused by underage people drinking and driving – and so they deal harshly with anyone under the age of 21 arrested for drinking and driving.

If a minor tests for blood alcohol content (BAC) between .01% and .08%, they are charged as a juvenile and subject to a suspended license for 30 to 90 days, and as many as 30 days of community service.

If a minor tests for BAC and it’s over 0.08% BAC, they will be charged as an adult and subject to New Jersey’s DUI/DWI laws.

Any minor convicted of underage drinking and driving will be required to attend classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center or similar alcohol education program.



It is traumatic and time-consuming for a young person to be arrested for underage drinking and/or driving, and also for their parents. The court process is money and time consuming, as are the potential punishments.

Tara Breslow-Testa is a Seaside Heights attorney experienced with public intoxication and underage drinking charges who understands the complicated equation of prosecutors, judges, statutes, punishments and possible ways to mitigate the damage.

Ms. Breslow-Testa knows how to negotiate with determined prosecutors and busy judges and she will do everything in her experience for her clients. If arrested for any alcohol-related offense in Seaside Heights, whether you are a minor, an adult, or an adult responsible for a minor, please call Seaside Heights public intoxication lawyer Tara Breslow-Testa at (732) 784-2880. She has an office in Seaside Heights and is ready to come to your defense.



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