Teenagers and young adults don’t always make the best decisions. And in Colorado, this includes drinking under the age of 21. Underage drinking might look like no big deal on TV shows and movies, but in reality, your child could face serious penalties and consequences. Learn more about the penalties for underage drinking in Boulder here.
Colorado’s “Minor in Possession” laws make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consumer and/or possess alcohol in the state. This is a strict liability offense and there is little tolerance for teens who are caught in possession of alcohol.
If your child is convicted of breaking this law, they will face the following penalties and consequences:
- First Conviction – pay a $250 maximum fine and driver’s license suspended for three months
- Second Conviction – pay a $500 maximum fine and driver’s license suspended for six months
- Third Conviction – Class 2 misdemeanor offense, fines up to $1000 and up to 12 months in jail. Also, driver’s license suspended for one year.
In addition, your child may be ordered to perform community service and complete an alcohol assessment program.
Possible Defenses to Underage Drinking
There are five possible defenses to underage drinking in the state of Colorado:
- Drank on private property with the consent of a parent or guardian and in their presence
- For medical or hygienic purposes
- Enrolled in a college class and tasting alcohol under the supervision of an accredited instructor
- For religious purposes
- When reporting another minor in need of medical help
These defenses are rare and they often involve a minor being under the direct supervision of an instructor, parent or guardian.
Lawmakers decided to protect minors who are under the influence of alcohol to call and report another minor who is in need of medical help. This Good Samaritan defense was intended to encourage young teenagers to call 911 to help a friend who may be suffering from alcohol poisoning, rather than avoid seeking help out of fear of being arrested.
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
If your child has been arrested for underage drinking in Boulder, it is important to take these charges seriously. Once you get your child home safely, your first thought should be to call an experienced Boulder criminal defense attorney immediately to protect your child’s future. Often times, an underage drinking arrest could be the first of many troubles.
The sooner you get legal help the better. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.