Understand Your Risks and Rights for Underage Drunk Driving

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Colorado laws treat DUI offenses seriously. For underage drinking and driving the laws are even stricter. If you’re under 21 years of age and have alcohol in your system for any reason while driving, you risk a UDD, Underage Drinking and Driving, charge.

Zero Tolerance for Underage Drunk Driving in Colorado


Unlike individuals over age 21, where drinking and driving laws allow a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of up to 0.05 before you face legal consequences, under age 21 you face stricter laws. If you have a BAC between 0.02 and 0.05 while driving or within two hours of driving, you risk a class A traffic infraction.

If you’re under age 21 and have a BAC at or above 0.05, you risk a DWAI or DUI charge in addition to the UDD charge. Any consumption of alcohol, may result in a charge. In fact, for most people one standard-sized drink changes their BAC to at least 0.02.

What to Do if you are Pulled Over for Underage Drunk Driving

Did you know that you do not have to consent to a roadside sobriety test when pulled over? Don’t make it easier on the other side. Instead, follow these guidelines:

  • DO NOT tell the officer you drank alcohol
  • DO NOT agree to a roadside sobriety test
  • DO NOT share any information about what you’ve consumed, like cough medicine, food prepared with alcohol, etc.

Even if you’ve not drank any alcohol, you do not have to share any information with the officer about what you’ve consumed. Not only does staying quite make it harder to charge you, it’ll also help your defense.

Penalty Minimum Maximum
Points Assessed Against Driver’s License: 4 points 4 points
Additional Penalties: Alcohol evaluation or assessment, alcohol education program, or alcohol treatment program. Alcohol evaluation or assessment, alcohol education program, or alcohol treatment program.

Although the penalties appear minimal, a person subject to a UDD charge could also be subject to additional penalties for being charged with minor in possession or consumption of alcohol, pursuant to C.R.S § 18-13-122(3)(a). A first-time offender under this statute is subject to a fine of up to $100 and/or completion of a substance abuse education program. For a second offense, the substance abuse program in mandatory and the offender is required to perform up to 24 hours of useful public service. For third and subsequent offenses under C.R.S § 18-13-122(3)(a), the fine inceases to a potential of $250 and the public service requirement may extend up to 36 hours.

A second offense for UDD is a class 2 traffic misdeanor. C.R.S. § 42-4-1301(2)(d)(II). The penalties for a second offense for UDD go up significantly; a person can be senteced to 10 to 90 days of jail, and is subject to a fine of $150 to $300. A conviction for UDD results in four points assessed against the underage driver’s license. C.R.S. § 42-2-127(5)(b)(IV). For a more detailed discussion of potential administrative, DMV penalties resulting from a UDD, see Chapter 4.

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3.7 Underage Drinking and Driving (UDD)

Pursuant to C.R.S. § 42-4-1301(2)(d)(I), “it is a class A traffic infraction for any person under twenty-one years of age to drive a motor vehicle or vechicle when the person’s BAC… is at least 0.02 but not more than 0.05 at the time of driving or within two hours afterr driving.” A person under twenty-one who drives with a BAC at or above 0.05 will likely be subject to DWAI, DUI, and DUI per se charges.

The penalties for a first offense of UDD include the following:

Penalty Minimum Maximum
Fine: $15 $100
Useful Public Service: 0 hours 24 hours

Penalties in Colorado for Underage Drunk Driving

First Offense UDD

First offense UDD penalties may include:

  • Fines of up to $100
  • 24 hours of public service
  • Attendance in an alcohol training program
  • Four points against your driver’s license

Remember, this is for a BAC of only 0.02. If you also have possession of alcohol, you could face a minor possession or consumption of alcohol charge. This is in addition to the UDD charge.

Subsequent Offenses for UDD

After your first offense for UDD, the penalties become harsher. Consequences may include:

  • A sentence of 10 to 90 days in jail for a second UDD offense
  • Completion of a substance abuse program
  • 24 hours of public service
  • A fine ranging from $150 to $300 dollars

 For each additional offense, the penalties increase with potentially higher fines and longer jail times.

Contact the Best Colorado DUI Attorneys for Underage Drunk Driving

At DUI Law Firm Denver, our team of DUI defense experts work aggressively to fight for you or your child. Don’t ruin your reputation or future. Contact us quickly to maximize your chances of a strong defense.

The officers and prosecuting attorneys are not on your side, no matter how helpful they may seem. Don’t give them an easy win. Build a strong defense with the help of our experienced attorneys. We specialize in alcohol charges and have the resources and tools needed to represent your case.



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