Like almost all states, Colorado maintains zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. So-called “Baby DUIs” carry severe criminal consequences when a small amount of alcohol is discovered in drivers under 21.
Accidents caused by drinking and driving are among the top causes of death throughout the state, not to mention teenagers losing their lives from excessive consumption that leads to alcohol poisoning.
Life-changing criminal charges at a young age
State law deems a 0.02 to a .05 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) enough to charge a young driver with operating their motor vehicle under the influence. Considered a class A traffic infraction, those convicted could face significant fines, public service duties, and alcohol assessment and treatment, with the individual charged – or their parents – footing the entire bill.
A second Baby DUI arrest carries even more severe and potentially life-changing penalties for younger people convicted of the Class 2 Traffic Misdemeanor. Add to that the potential consequences for those who are underage who purchase, possess, and transport alcohol without ever drinking a drop.
Colorado’s Department of Motor Vehicles can also impose its own penalties by suspending the driver’s license for three months after a first conviction. The minor can request probationary licensure for 30 days with the option of an additional two months. Securing a conditional license is not automatic and subject to the DMV.
Second offenses will double the revocation with subsequent violations resulting in a one-year revocation.
Minor drivers under 21 with a BAC of more than .05 face even more severe DWAI/DUI charges normally reserved for adults, losing their license for one year for the first offense, and other criminal penalties.
In addition to the criminal consequences, the child may lose their right to drive, experience higher insurance rates, have a criminal record, and potentially time in jail.