At about 11:35 in the morning on Sunday, April 5th, a 17-year-old male was trying to park his truck when he drove into the side of a building in an apartment complex in Colorado Springs, according to local news reports. Fortunately, no one in the building suffered any injuries and the structural damage to the building was not severe. However, the teen was arrested and now faces charges of DUI and more.
Underage drinking laws
Like anywhere in the United States, the legal drinking age in Colorado is 21 years of age. Anyone younger than 21 will not only be in greater trouble for drinking alcohol unlawfully, but will also face the standard DUI consequences in addition. Drinking under 21 years of age is only allowed under very limited circumstances. These exceptions include the following:
- A parent or legal guardian gives you permission to drink on private property where no alcohol is sold.
- Alcohol is consumed for medical purposes for testing or other reasons under the supervision of a medical professional.
- Alcohol is consumed as part of a religious ceremony.
- Alcohol is consumed as part of an educational program, such as culinary school.
Additionally, an individual will not be penalized for underage drinking if they contact the authorities due to a medical emergency involving another underage individual who had been drinking.
If none of the above exceptions apply, an underage person can be charged if they had a blood alcohol content over 0.02 percent, which is in comparison of the normal drinking limits of 0.05 percent for driving while ability impaired (DWAI) or 0.08 percent for driving under the influence (DUI). Because 0.02 percent is such a low threshold, the law is referred to as a “Zero Tolerance” law for underage drinking and driving. An driver convicted of underage DUI with a BAC from 0.02 percent to 0.05 percent may face the following consequences and more:
- Suspension of their driver’s license
- Community service
Anything over 0.05 percent will trigger standard DWAI or DUI penalties, which can include jail time up to one year and up to a $1,000 fine. The consequences can increase substantially if an underage driver receives charges for a second DUI offense. Furthermore, additional charges may be tacked on including minor in possession, possessing a fake ID, and more.
Call a Denver DUI defense attorney if your child has been arrested for DUI
Underage DUI convictions can have serious consequences and can significantly affect your child’s life and future opportunities. If your teenager is facing any type of DUI charges in or around the Denver area, your first call should be to the Tiftickjian Law Firm to discuss how experienced DUI defense lawyer Jay Tiftickjian can help you. Mr. Tiftickjian has extensive knowledge and skill in handling all types of DUI cases in Colorado, including those that involve underage defendants, property damage, injuries, or other accidents. Contact our office today at 303-DUI-5280 to discuss how we can help you.