Like many states, Colorado has a “zero tolerance” DUI policy for underage individuals (i.e., those younger than the legal drinking age of 21). This means that should an underage person have a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than .02 but less than .05, he or she can be charged with underage drinking and driving (UDD). Should the BAC be greater than .05, the accused can be charged with a DUI just as an adult would be, and he or she can face penalties similar to those associated with adult DUI convictions.
What is perhaps scarier than the possibility of being arrested is the fact that underage DUI convictions have potentially long-term penalties. Namely, underage DUI convictions:
- Will not necessarily drop off of a minor’s record when he or she becomes an adult
- Can count as a “mark” against an individual if he or she is subsequently arrested on suspicion of DUI, which increases the likelihood of having to serve jail time
- Can seriously damage a minor’s ability to get into college, to secure scholarships or federal loans to fund college and to eventually land an internship or a job
Underage DUI Penalties
When UDD charges are filed (i.e., the BAC is between .02 and .05), a first offense is classified as a “Class A” traffic offense, and associated penalties include fines up to $100 and up to 24 hours of community service. For UDD charges filed against those with prior UDD convictions, the charges will be classified as “Class 2 traffic misdemeanors,” and the offender will likely be sentenced to 10 to 90 days of detention (possibly jail time for those older than 18), up to $300 in fines and up to 24 hours of community service.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, our experienced Denver DUI lawyers may be able to get the charges against you reduced — or dismissed entirely — based on arguing the results of the breathalyzer, the police’s reasons for pulling you over, the way the police handled the evidence, etc.
Given the potentially devastating consequences associated with underage DUI convictions, it is vital that those facing these charges work with our legal team here at Flesch & Beck Law. We understand how important your child’s future is, and our underage DUI defense lawyers will work tirelessly to build your child the strongest possible defense case. For a FREE, no-obligation evaluation of your DUI case, contact us today by emailing us or calling (303) 806-8886.