Understanding Colorado DUI Penalties for Drivers Under Age 21

Like other U.S. states, the minimum legal drinking age in Colorado is 21 years. People who are younger than 21 years of age are not legally permitted to drink alcohol in Colorado, whether or not they are driving a motor vehicle. As a result, the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) when a driver is under age 21 are triggered at a lower blood alcohol level than for drivers who are 21 or older. Drivers under 21, however, have the same legal rights as older drivers, including the right to seek the help of an aggressive Colorado Springs DUI defense attorney.

A DUI for a person under age 21 in Colorado is known as an Underage Drinking and Driving (UDD) charge. A UDD charge may be brought if the driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.02 percent and 0.05 percent. If a BAC test reveals a BAC of 0.05 percent or higher, the driver will face the same penalties as an adult driver with a similar BAC.

For a UDD charge, the possible penalties include:

  • First UDD conviction: Fines of $15-$100 and up to 24 hours of community service. A First UDD conviction is considered a Class A traffic infraction in Colorado, along with infractions like carrying an open alcohol container in the passenger area of a vehicle while on a public road.
  • Second or later UDD conviction: Between 10 and 90 days in jail, $150 to $300 in fines, and up to 24 hours community service. Second or later UDD convictions are considered Class 2 traffic misdemeanors in Colorado.

A Colorado court may also choose to sentence a person convicted of UDD to probation, although probation is not required for a UDD conviction. In addition, the court may require the convicted person to attend alcohol treatment programs.

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