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Drinking and driving penalties for drivers under the age of 21

When a law enforcement officer pulls over any driver and makes an arrest for driving under the influence, it may have serious consequences, but even more so if you are a driver under the age of 21. 

We understand how important it is for young drivers to have a strong defense and fight charges of underage DUI. 

BAC levels 

In the Colorado statutes, there is a presumption that a defendant’s blood alcohol content has to be above 0.05% for him or her to face charges of driving under the influence or driving while ability impaired. However, a driver who is not old enough to legally drink alcohol can face a class A traffic infraction for having a BAC of 0.02% to 0.05%. 

Penalties for a class A traffic infraction 

The good news is that this is a civil offense rather than a criminal offense. But, the outcome can still be costly. You will likely have to pay a fine and have points added to your driver’s license. It may also affect your insurance premiums. 

The judge’s discretion 

The judge may want to take further steps to discourage you from drinking and driving again. He or she may order you to perform as many as 24 hours of community service. You may also have to complete an alcohol education program, and undergo an alcohol assessment to see if you qualify for chemical dependency treatment. If you do meet the criteria for an outpatient or inpatient program, you will have to undertake treatment at your own expense. 

A second infraction or a higher BAC may lead to much stricter penalties. More information about DUI defense is available on our webpage.