You or your child attend a party at a friend's house one Saturday night, and you find yourself getting a call before you go to pick them up. Turns out the party got a little loud, the police were called, and your child was found to be in possession of alcohol or has been intoxicated. Law enforcement arrest your child and you must head to the station to pick them up. You may be wondering what this means for your child, their future, and whether or not there are any defenses that can be employed to protect them. Luckily, a Colorado Springs defense lawyer can help you with your legal needs during this stressful time. Find out what the penalties may be for underage possession, consumption, and drunk driving are by reading through our blog.
Help! My Child Was Caught With Alcohol.
Under Colorado law, it is illegal for someone under 21 to possess or ingest alcohol and steps are taken to punish those found in violation of this law. Penalties for underage alcohol possession or consumption can vary. Typically, a minor convicted of this crime will be facing a $250 crime, 24 hours of community service, completion of an alcohol education program, and the suspension of their driving privileges for up to one year.
There are only a few instances where someone under the age of 21 is legally allowed to consume alcohol in Colorado:
- In a private place that does not serve alcohol and with the consent of their parents;
- For religious reasons;
- For medicinal purposes;
- For educational reasons; and
- When reporting the medical need for underage consumption of a minor under 17.
Therefore, defenses to underage possession/consumption can involve establishing that the alcohol was consumed at a location not selling alcohol and with the permission of their parents, that the alcohol found in the child's body was due to something other than alcoholic beverages, that the alcohol was consumed for religious reasons, or another defense established with the help of an attorney experienced in minors in possession of alcohol cases.
What happens if my underage child is accused of drunk driving?
While the legal drinking age is 21, it is common for those under the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages. While bring accused of possession or consumption of alcohol can bring charges, your child may be facing a different set of charges if accused of this crime. In order to protect your child's future, you will likely need the aggressive help of a Colorado Springs underage drunk driving defense lawyer.
Unlike DUI for someone over the age of 21, a Colorado driver only needs a blood alcohol content of .02% to face underage drinking and driving (UDD) charges. If convicted, an underage driver can be facing fines, probation, alcohol treatment, and public service. In addition, their driver's license will likely be suspended.
UDD convictions and minor in possession convictions can have a long-lasting effect on your child's life, including being able to affect educational and employment opportunities. No one should be penalized for a mistake of their youth! With Attorney Samuelson at The Samuelson Law Firm, you can get the aggressive criminal defense you need. Get started with a free consultation to discuss your rights and how we can help you.