Being charged with DUI is a serious offense in Colorado. The penalties for DUI are severe and can be worse if the motorist is underage. The state of Colorado has a “zero tolerance law” for underage drinking and driving (UDD).
If you have been charged with UDD, you have the right to defend against the charges, and that is where we, at the Law Office Of Richard B. Huttner, can help you. We have the legal experience, resources, and experience to fight against underage drinking and driving charges.
Blood Alcohol Content Limit for Underage Drivers
Blood alcohol content (BAC) is determined in grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters. Under Colorado Law, it is illegal for a motorist under 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% or greater. This means that any underage motorist found to have a BAC level between 0.02% and 0.05 percent will be charged with underage drinking and driving.
Penalties for Underage Drinking And Driving
Under Colorado’s traffic laws, underage drinking and driving is a class A traffic infraction for the first offense. Additional penalties can include community service, mandatory fines, license suspension, and alcohol treatment. If it is a second offense, the person will face more severe consequences, including a longer duration of license suspension. A third or subsequent offense for underage drinking and driving can lead to a Class 2 traffic demeanor, which has even more severe penalties.
Similarly, if there are aggravating factors in the case, such as if the drunk driving led to a car crash that caused bodily harm or property damage to others, then the penalties for a UDD or DUI conviction can be significantly more severe.
In Colorado, the legal drinking age is 21. This means that not only is it illegal to be behind the wheel when drunk, but minors can also face serious legal consequences if they buy, attempt to buy, drink, transport, or possess alcohol.
Refusal to Take a Sobriety Test
If a police officer pulls you over under the suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be asked to take a field sobriety or breathalyzer test. You have the right to refuse to take the test but the state of Colorado has the right to suspend your driver’s license for a year. Colorado is one of the states where “express consent” laws apply. This means that all drivers expressly consent to a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test.
Defense to UDD Charges
An attorney can analyze your case to determine the best legal strategy to defend against the charges. One of the most commonly used defenses is that the police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. If your attorney is successful in challenging the traffic stop, then you have a strong case to get the charges reduced or dismissed.
Another defense is to challenge the accuracy or reliability of the breathalyzer test. For example, if the breathalyzer test was not administered correctly, then the results could be deemed unreliable. Other defenses include rising alcohol levels, violation of Miranda rights, and being in a state of duress or necessity.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
At the Law Office Of Richard B. Huttner, we focus on criminal law cases in the Denver area. With our extensive experience and a deep understanding of Colorado DUI laws, we can build a strong case in defense of UDD or DUI allegations Our range of legal services covers everything from DUI charges to underage drinking violations and more. You can call us to schedule a consultation with one of our UDD or DUI attorneys at the Law Office Of Richard B. Huttner.