With graduation season here, plans for parties, celebrations and fun get-togethers are being formulated, and alcohol inevitably finds its way into many of these gatherings. If you are a high-school student, a college student under 21 or the parent of any of these young people, take stock. First and foremost, underage drinking is a bad idea across the board. Secondly, Colorado is a zero tolerance state. If you are underage and suspected of driving after drinking even a very small amount of alcohol, you may be facing quite severe penalties.
Underage Drinking and Driving (UDD)
In Colorado, persons under twenty-one years of age can be charged with drinking and driving for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of only 0.02, which is easily achieved after a single alcoholic drink. One shot, a beer or a glass of wine is typically enough to put an underage driverat risk of being charged with Underage Drinking and Driving (UDD). In addition, drivers under 21 years of age can also be charged with Driving Under The Influence (DUI), Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID), or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) with a BAC is 0.05 or higher, and face the same criminal penalties and consequences as adult drivers.
Even a first convctiion for UDD, DUI, or DWAI can have a severe impact on your wallet, job, education, freedom and life in general. Possible penalties include the following:
- Impoundment of your vehicle,
- Suspension of driving privleges for at least 9 months,
- Thousands of dollars in fines, court costs, surcharges, and restitution
- Mandatory drug and alcohol education and therapy,
- Up to 96 hours of community service,
- Possible jail time of up to one year, and
- Up to 2 years of supervised probation.
The type and severity of your penalties will depend largely upon your BAC, any previous DUI convictions, the specific circumstances of your case and your defense strategy.
What To Do If You Are Charged With Underage DUI
The best defense against an underage DUI is simple- don’t drink and drive. However, if you do find yourself charged with an alcohol or drug-related driving offense, you should contact experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer Brian Boal as soon as possible. He understands Colorado’s DUI laws, and will put on the best possible defense against your UDD, DUI, DWAI, or DUID charges after carefully reviewing the evidence and circumstances of your case. He will use his knowledge, skill, and countless hours of courtroom experience to help you keep your driver’s license or reduce the length of your suspension, and reduce or eliminate the potential fines, community service time and jail time. In some cases, he may even be able to negotiate a deferred sentence or to reduce your charges to a non-alcohol related misdemeanor or traffic infraction. And when necessary he will fight vigorously for your acquittal at trial in front of a judge or jury. So, this graduation season, be smart. Don’t drink and drive. But, if you do slip up, don’t leave your future to chance. Take control by getting the experienced representation you need from Attorney Brian Boal at Boal Law Firm.