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CU Students Can Face Stiff Penalties for Possession of Alcohol

With the thrill of the newfound freedom of being away from home and having complete autonomy, the first year of college is an exciting time. During the transition to campus life, it is important to remember that possession of alcohol by a minor is a crime in Colorado. A minor in possession of alcohol (MIP) conviction can affect both your academic career and your post-graduate opportunities.

According to the University of Colorado Police, MIP, possession of marijuana and traffic offenses are the most common crimes committed by University of Colorado students. In early September, one student was arrested in the same night for both a MIP violation and suspicion of obstruction of justice.

Driver's License Consequences

A MIP may result in driver's license revocation. If it is a first offense and court-mandated program or assessment is completed, then it is possible to avoid the loss of driving privileges.

Otherwise, for a first offense, a three-month suspension is common. A second offense generally comes with a revocation of six months, and a third increases to a 12-month revocation. During the revocation period, a probationary license is not available no matter the circumstances.

Further, when a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.170 or above or after repeat MIP offenses, the court may order that an ignition interlock device be used for two years following license reinstatement. An ignition interlock device requires you to blow into a tube attached to a car's dashboard. The car will not start if a driver's BAC exceeds 0.05 percent.

MIP convictions also come with fines and public service requirements, and for three or more MIPs, the charge becomes a class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: Boulder Daily Camera, "CU-Boulder Police busier in fall with MIP tickets, possession of marijuana," Sept. 10, 2012

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