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Underage Drinking and Driving in Colorado

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Posted By McAdams Law | November 5 2023 | Blog

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is a criminal offense in the state of Colorado. However, your child could also face criminal charges if they are accused of underage drinking and driving. The penalties of a conviction could permanently alter the course of your child’s life. Understanding the charges against them and the consequences of a guilty verdict is crucial if you hope to protect your child and build the most powerful juvenile defense possible.

Colorado UDD Penalties

According to Colorado law, under CRS 42-4-1301(2)(d), motorists under the age of 21 are prohibited from operating a vehicle when their blood alcohol content (BAC) level reaches .02%. If your child is charged with and convicted of underage drinking and driving (UDD) the penalties could follow them for the rest of their life.
The extent of these consequences will vary depending on whether they have previously been accused or found guilty of a prior UDD. These consequences could include:

  • First UDD – Your child will be charged with a Class A infraction, punishable by up to $100 in fines, revocation of their driver’s license for a minimum of three months, a maximum of 24 hours of use for public service, and completion of an alcohol and drug treatment or education program.
  • Second UDD – Your child will be charged with a Class 2 Traffic Misdemeanor, punishable by up to $300 in fines, a maximum of 90 days in jail, four points added to
    their driver’s license, driver’s license revocation for up to six months, a drug or alcohol
    evaluation, and other penalties.
  • Third or subsequent UDD – Your child will have their driver’s license revoked for a minimum of one year, have four points added to their driving record, spend as much as 90 days in jail, complete up to 24 hours of useful public service, pay up to $300 in fines, and complete a drug or alcohol treatment program.

How to Defend Yourself Against Underaged Drinking and Driving Allegations

Several potential defenses could be used to defend against UDD charges. First, your UDD lawyer will try to work with the prosecutor to get you entered into a pretrial diversion program. In doing so, you may be able to avoid some of the harsher penalties of a conviction if you can fulfill the requirements of your pretrial diversion program. When you do, the prosecutor will dismiss the charges against you or reduce them to a less serious offense.

However, if you do not qualify for a pretrial diversion program or the prosecutor is unwilling to work with you, we may need to consider your defense options. Some of the most common types of defenses seen in UDD cases include:

  • Lack of probable cause to initiate a traffic stop
  • Lack of probable cause that your child was consuming alcohol
  • Police misconduct
  • Constitutional rights violations
  • Failure to administer the breathalyzer accurately
  • Defective breathalyzer test results
  • Mishandling of evidence
  • Unlawful search and seizure

Get Help From a Colorado DUI Attorney Today

When your child is accused of underage drinking and driving, it is easy to panic. However, you must remain calm and take steps to help your child avoid the severe consequences of a UDD conviction.

A top-rated Colorado DUI lawyer with McAdams Law Office is here to help you defend your child’s reputation and protect their future. Schedule a confidential consultation today when you complete our secured contact form or call our office to begin working on your child’s UDD defense strategy.

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