Teen Drinking and Driving in Colorado

The State of Colorado takes teenage drinking and driving very seriously and imposes harsh penalties for minors under the age of 21 who are caught with alcohol while driving a vehicle. In Colorado, the charge associated with driving under the influence by persons under the age of 21 is called an Underage Drinking and Driving Offense (UDD).

Zero-Tolerance Policy

Colorado has a strict zero-tolerance policy with regard to underage drinking and driving. Under section 42-4-1301(2)(d) of the Colorado Revised Statutes, it is unlawful for minors to drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) between .02 and .05 percent.

This law is strict and can be violated even by swallowing a mouthwash containing alcohol, eating a dessert that contains alcohol, or taking an over-the-counter medicine that contains alcohol.

Additionally, if you are a minor who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent or above, you will receive the same criminal penalties as an adult driving under the influence.

If a minor is arrested and charged with a UDD in Colorado, they may also be charged with other offenses as well, such as a minor in possession, solicitation of alcohol, false identification, or others. Colorado takes underage drinking and driving very seriously and will prosecute these cases aggressively.

Penalties for an Underage Drinking and Driving Offense

If you are arrested and charged for a UDD in Colorado, the penalties are severe. However, the penalties differ depending upon how many times the underage driver has been arrested and charged.

  • First Offense. The first conviction of a UDD carries with it a fine up to $150, an automatic three-month driver’s license suspension, four points on your Colorado driving record, up to 24 hours of community service, an evaluation for drugs and alcohol at the driver’s expense, and an education and treatment program, also at the driver’s expense.
  • Subsequent Offenses. A second or subsequent conviction a UDD is considered a Colorado class 2 traffic misdemeanor and carries with it a minimum prison sentence of 10-to-90 days in jail and a fine up to $300.

Penalties from the state end there, but other penalties exist for being charged with a UDD. Car insurance rates may rise, universities can take away scholarships or expel students, and career ambitions can be ruined. The consequences for an underage drinking and driving conviction in the State of Colorado are staggering.

Contact an Experienced UDD and DUI Lawyer

It is possible for a UDD or DUI to be expunged from a minor’s permanent record, and consulting with an experienced attorney can help with that process.

If you, or your child, was charged with drinking and driving while under the age of 21, contact an experienced UDD and DUI lawyer as soon as possible to help you understand your legal rights, work to prevent a conviction, or determine if your UDD or DUI can be expunged. You can contact The Moorhead Law Group at (303) 447-1400 or by contacting us online today for a review of your case.

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