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Protecting Your Teenager from Underage DUI in Colorado Springs

As a parent, your child’s safety and well-being are among your primary concerns. When your child moves into adolescence and young adulthood, they begin to make their own decisions—and making mistakes (hopefully learning from them) is a valuable and universal experience. Unfortunately, some teenagers make poor decisions behind the wheel. Their inexperience as young drivers can leave them vulnerable to taking risks without considering the potential consequences. For instance, consuming alcohol at a friend’s house and then driving home can be incredibly dangerous. According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 29 percent of young drivers who were killed in car accidents during 2020 had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of 0.01 or higher, while 24 percent had BACs of 0.08 percent or higher. Moreover, young drivers who are involved in fatal crashes are less likely to use safety restraints when they are intoxicated, which means that these intoxicated and unrestrained drivers were more likely to suffer severe injuries or death from a motor vehicle collision.

In response to these concerning statistics, Colorado lawmakers implemented clear penalties for underage drivers who operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. If your teen is facing a first-time or subsequent underage DUI offense in the Colorado Springs area, reach out to a highly qualified and empathetic DUI defense attorney who can assess the specifics of the case and identify the most strategic path forward. Let’s take a look at how Colorado typically handles DUI teenage drinking incidents and some prevention strategies you can use to keep young drivers safe.

Underage DUI in Colorado

Colorado DUI laws aim to deter young drivers from consuming alcohol and getting behind the wheel. First-time underage DUI offenders can be charged with a Class A traffic infraction. Section 42-4-1301(2)(a.5) of Colorado Revised Statutes reads, “It is a class A traffic infraction for any person under twenty-one years of age to drive any vehicle in this state when the person’s BAC, as shown by analysis of the person’s breath, is at least 0.02 but not more than 0.05 at the time of driving or within two hours after driving.” In other words, a driver under the legal drinking age can face several penalties for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. However, if the underage driver’s BAC exceeds 0.05, they can be prosecuted as adults. This means that prosecutors can charge them with serious criminal offenses, such as driving while ability impaired (DWAI) or driving under the influence (DUI), both of which carry significant penalties. Regardless of the type of penalties your child may be facing, it’s essential that you work with a dedicated and experienced Colorado Springs underage DUI defense lawyer who will fight hard to keep your child’s future as bright as possible.

What is the Punishment for Underage Drinking in Colorado?

If your underage driver’s BAC measured between 0.02 percent and 0.05 percent, and this is their first offense, law enforcement officers will likely give them a Class A traffic infraction. An underage DUI fine is usually around $100, plus court fees. In addition to fees, your child can face a three-month driver’s license revocation, up to 24 hours of public service, possible mandatory participation in a drug and alcohol education or treatment program, and have four points added to their driving record.

Second-time or repeat offenders whose BAC is between 0.02 and 0.05 percent will likely face a Class 2 traffic misdemeanor charge. The penalties escalate in severity, punishable by between 10 to 90 days in jail, up to $300 in fines and other costs, and a six-month driver’s license revocation. Additionally, repeat offenders may also be subject to adding four points to their driving record, mandatory attendance in alcohol and drug education and counseling programs, mandatory public service, and other associated fees and fines. Even though these penalties may not seem as if they will cause long-term hardship to your child, they still affect their permanent record and may create barriers to academic and employment opportunities in the future. Consulting with a dedicated Colorado Springs underage DUI defense lawyer is the best way to keep your child’s future as open and bright as possible.

Underage Drivers Facing DWAI and DUI Charges in Colorado

If law enforcement officers in the Colorado Springs area determine that your underage driver’s BAC is higher than 0.05 percent, they can face adult criminal charges. The penalties for a DWAI or DUI offense are significant, so it’s essential to hire a trusted and experienced Colorado Springs DUI defense attorney right away to ensure your child’s legal rights are upheld at every stage of the criminal justice process. There’s no doubt that this situation can be overwhelming, concerning, and intimidating, so having a knowledgeable legal advocate by your side to answer your questions and look out for your child’s best interests can be a much-needed source of strength and reassurance.

Protective Measures to Prevent Underage DUIs in Colorado

Safe driving habits begin long before your child gets behind the wheel. One of the most effective ways to keep your child safe is to communicate clearly and openly about the risks of consuming alcohol, especially as alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to make decisions and react appropriately. When young drivers know that their parents, family members, peers, and neighbors care about their safety and well-being, they tend to rely on these critical support systems to empower them to make more informed choices. Although clear communication and setting boundaries with underage drivers will not eradicate underage DUIs completely, these protective measures and prevention efforts can reduce the number of incidents over time.

If your child has been pulled over for an underage DUI incident in Colorado Springs, you need effective and reliable legal representation as soon as possible. Call The Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C., right away at (719) 328-1616 to get started with a highly qualified and experienced underage DUI defense attorney who will fight hard for your child’s future.

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For over 20 years we have represented clients in Colorado from a client-centered approach. We are experts within the areas of Cannabis Law, Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Business Law. We believe in protecting the rights of businesses and individuals with precision, exceeding client expectations with each case. Client satisfaction inspires us to strive for excellence in everything we do.

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Exceptional Experience & Results

For over 20 years we have represented clients in Colorado from a client-centered approach. We are experts within the areas of Cannabis Law, Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Business Law. We believe in protecting the rights of businesses and individuals with precision, exceeding client expectations with each case. Client satisfaction inspires us to strive for excellence in everything we do.

Schedule Your Consultation with a Trusted Attorney Today!

Need legal help in business or criminal areas in Colorado? Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our expert attorneys focus in business law and criminal defense, providing clear advice for your specific needs. Benefit from our years of experience as we deliver targeted solutions and defend your rights every step of the way.