Underage drinking is illegal in all 50 states. The national legal drinking age is 21 and this law is strictly enforced in the state of Colorado, especially when driving is involved. A teenager can be arrested if found driving with even 0.01% blood alcohol content (BAC).
Just because your child may have been arrested for teen drunk driving, it does not automatically mean that they will be convicted of a crime. Juvenile convictions, such as teenage DUI, are often referred to as adjudications. If your underage driver has been charged with any crimes related to drinking and driving it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Seeking professional counsel sooner than later increases your likelihood of protecting your child from consequences that could affect their future. A young person who has been convicted of Underage Drinking and Driving (UDD) can face unwanted challenges socially or when applying for educational or employment opportunities.
Teen Drinking and Driving 1st Offense
The state of Colorado has a Zero Tolerance Policy for drunk driving. If a teenager reveals to have 0.08% BAC (the legal amount of alcohol an adult can have to be charged with a DUI- Driving Under the Influence), the teen can be also be charged the same as an adult.
Each case is individual, but a first time offense for UDD can have fines of $150 or more, points on the driver’s license, suspended driver’s license, possible probation or substance abuse treatment program, and/or community service up to 24 hours. A criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the ins and outs of the laws concerning your child’s situation to establish the best possible outcome.
Teen Drinking and Driving 2nd Offense
Teenage drunk driving is a serious offense. If you are charged for UDD for a second time in Colorado the punishment increases. A 2nd offense UDD comes with a Class 2 Traffic Misdemeanor. Teens can be sentenced to 90 days in jail, fines of $300, suspended license, additional points on license, up to 24 hours of community service, substance abuse treatment programs, and probation.
Can My Teen’s DUI Be Expunged?
Fortunately, with the right legal assistance, your teenager’s DUI can be wiped clean or expunged. With proper criteria and professional legal advice, a young person can apply and successfully have past UDD criminal adjudications removed from their permanent records. Individuals between 18 and 21 years old can also qualify for expungement for underage DUI charges.
Professional Help For Teenage DUI Cases
While the prevention of drinking and driving is preferred, it is not always possible. Many parents find themselves having to deal with the consequences of a teenager charged with drunk driving. You are not alone and seeking professional help is the best thing you can do to manage the aftermath of such a serious situation. The law offices of M. Colin Bresee is here to support you in this difficult time. Schedule an appointment today.