As a freshman in college, your son will deal with many new situations. He will probably attend parties where beer is available, and he may join in the drinking.
If he decides to get behind the wheel afterward, law enforcement may stop him on suspicion of drinking and driving, but because of his age, he is looking at “Baby DUI.”
Impaired driving offenses
In the state of Colorado, there are four categories of impaired driving offenses. Misdemeanors and felonies apply to drivers aged 21 and over. The other two categories pertain to underage drivers:
- Class A Traffic Infraction: This category is for drivers under the age of 21 who have blood alcohol concentration levels consistent with the Zero Tolerance law in Colorado. It includes the open container act whereby having an open container in a vehicle is against the law.
- Class 2 Traffic Misdemeanor: This is the category for drivers under the age of 21 who have second or subsequent convictions for driving with a BAC of .02 to .05.
If your son’s BAC is between .02 and .05 and it is his first Underage Drinking Driver or zero-tolerance offense, he will not spend any time in jail, but he may have to complete community service of up to 24 hours. He will also pay a fine of from $15 to $100 and the Department of Motor vehicles will revoke his driving privileges for three months. The penalties increase for a second UDD offense. The fine is between $10 and $300 and jail time of 10 to 90 days becomes a possibility. Driver’s license revocation for a second UDD offense is six months. A probationary license is available, but your son cannot apply for one until he completes the six-month period.
A look ahead
Many young people look at an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol as a mere inconvenience. However, even a Baby DUI can have adverse effects on your son’s future and he may need help to ensure a positive outcome for this kind of case.