There are several laws that deal with underage drinking in Colorado. The most important thing to remember is that it is ILLEGAL for any person under the age of 21 to possess or consume an alcoholic beverage. Here are a few other important things to remember about the legal consequences of underage drinking.
A Minor in Possession (MIP) is the most common charge in the state when it comes to underage drinking. Any teen found with alcohol, or suspected of consuming it will be charged with MIP. Possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor is only allowed if it happens on private property, with the property owner’s consent, and under direct supervision of that minor’s parent or guardian. There are strict punishments for this charge.
First offense: Fine up to $250, up to 24 hours community service, and a license revocation for 3 months if the minor fails to follow court ordered instructions
Second offense: Fine up to $500, up to 24 hours community service, mandatory alcohol class, and a license revocation for 6 months
Third Offense or More: 3-12 months imprisonment and/or $250-$1000 fine (both determined by court), mandatory alcohol class, and a license revocation for one (1) year
Use Alcohol, Lose Driving Privileges
Underage Drinking and Driving (UDD) is the charge given to any driver younger than 21-years-old with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between .02 and .05 percent. Teen drivers with a BAC greater than .05 percent can face DUI/DWAI charges just like an adult. A first time UDD conviction is a Class A driving infraction which generally results in a fine up to $100 and community service. A second UDD becomes a criminal charge. Drivers will also be subject to the following administrative penalties:
First Offense: Results in automatic revocation of license for 3 months
Second Offense: Results in automatic revocation of license for 6 months
Third Offense: Results in automatic revocation of license for one (1) year
It may seem like a harmless “rite of passage,” that allows teens to buy alcohol, but fake identification is a serious crime. Fake IDs are intended to look like legitimate documents issued by the government. Making a Fake ID is a Class 5 Felony. Penalties can range from 1-4 years in prison and/or a fine between $1,000 and $100,000. A felony is serious. It will stay on your record, and can often times interfere with or prevent you from getting certain jobs. Using a fake ID or enabling the use of a fake ID can also result in the loss of driving privileges.
Hosting Underage Drinking Parties
This charge is for adults. Under Colorado law, any adult who knowingly helps a person under age 18 break the law can be charged with this Class 4 Felony. This includes providing alcoholic beverages to minors. A Class 4 Felony conviction carries serious penalties including 2 to 6 years in prison, and fines ranging from $2,000 to $500,000. Providing alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age (21) may also result in the provider losing driving privileges for 6 months.