Navigating the college experience is exciting and comes with many new freedoms, and underage drinking can often seem like a rite of passage. But it’s important to remember that such newfound independence also brings responsibility.
Though it may seem like harmless fun at the time, there can be serious legal consequences for those who choose to consume alcohol before they reach the legal age of 21.
Penalties for underage drinking
The legal age to consume alcohol in Colorado is 21. State, federal and university laws may penalize anyone violating this law. For first-time offenders, the court may order them to pay a fine of up to $100, attend a substance abuse treatment program, or both. Any further offenses will result in escalated penalties. In addition to fines and treatment, they may be required to complete community service programs.
For Colorado University students, anyone under the age of 21 caught drinking may face discipline under the guidelines of the Student Conduct Code, which involves:
- Notification of potential violations
- A one-on-one conduct meeting for the student to respond
- Further investigation, if necessary, to gather additional information
- Resolution options ranging from mediation to formal disciplinary action
As you can see, the consequences of underage drinking can have a lasting negative impact on the student’s academic future. It could mean loss of scholarships, team expulsion, a criminal record and problems with housing.
When it comes to underage drinking charges, a young person’s academic and professional future is on the line. It’s crucial to understand the negative consequences that may come from a conviction. You need to discuss your situation with someone who can advocate on your behalf. They may be able to have the charges reduced or dismissed. Having a strategic defense is your best chance for a positive outcome.