Summer is fast approaching. School is coming to an end. Many teens and young adults in Colorado are ready to party and enjoy a few months of freedom. If that partying includes alcohol, they need to be careful because underage drinking and possession of alcohol can have serious consequences.
Colorado has a zero-tolerance policy for underage possession and consumption of alcohol. What does that mean? How can a conviction on underage possession and consumption of alcohol affect a person’s future?
Zero tolerance policy
The zero-tolerance policy states that anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol. A few exceptions to this rule exist, such as if the parents supply the alcohol to their child, if it’s consumed at a private event or used for religious purposes. Otherwise, anyone under the age of 21 found with a blood alcohol concentration of .02% may face formal charges.
Why is this policy in place?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, those between the ages of 15 and 20 are more likely to be involved in serious, if not fatal, accidents. Roughly one-third of deaths reported for this age group are the result of auto collisions. It’s estimated that 35% of those accidents are alcohol-related. States that have implemented the zero-tolerance policy have seen a decline in youth car crash fatalities.
What are the consequences of underage drinking?
A DUI offense can have far-reaching implications. For those under the age of 21, a conviction on such a charge could:
- Affect driving privileges
- Increase cost of car insurance
- Make it difficult to find gainful employment
- Affect one’s ability to obtain housing
- Land a person in juvenile detention or jail
If involved in a wreck that resulted in another person experiencing bodily injury or death, the consequences may be even more significant.
What you can do to help your child if he or she stands accused of underage drinking?
If your child stands accused of underage drinking or any of the other charges that often accompany an underage DUI charge, such as minor in possession, drug offenses or possession of fake identification cards, he or she stands to lose a lot if ultimately convicted. You can assist your child as they navigate the juvenile or criminal court system simply by being by their side and getting them the help they need to fight the charges.