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Know the Law

Legal for a person younger than 18 to possess?

Legal for a
person ages
18 – 20
to possess?

Can I legally provide this substance to my own child if he or she is younger than 18?

Can another adult legally provide this substance to my child if my child is younger than 21?

Alcohol

No

No

YES, in certain situations*

No

Marijuana

No

Only with Medical Marijuana card

No

Only if child is 18+ and has medical marijuana card.

Prescription Pills

Only as prescribed

Only as prescribed

Only if prescribed for your child

Only a licensed pharmacist

Tobacco

No

YES

No

Only if child is 18+

Illicit Drugs

No

No

No

No

*A child younger than 21 may only legally consume alcohol on private property, with the property owner's permission, and under direct supervision of that child's parent or guardian. (Sources: : SB14-129, C.R.S. 18-13-122; C.R.S. 18-6-701)

Possible Punishments – Alcohol and Marijuana

Any person younger than age 21 caught with or suspected of consuming alcohol or marijuana is charged with Minor in Possession (MIP). Punishments are:

1
First Offense

Fine up to $100
and/or the required completion of a substance abuse education program

2
Second Offense

Fine up to $100,
the required completion of a substance abuse education program, a possible order for substance abuse assessment and related treatment, and 24 hours of public service.

3
Third or Subsequent Offense

Fine up to $250,
the required completion of a substance abuse assessment and any related treatment, and up to 36 hours of public service

Upon the first offense, the driver’s license/permit is revoked. 42-2-131

Any person convicted of underage possession or consumption of marijuana will also pay a $25 surcharge.

(Sources: SB14-129; C.R.S. 18-13-122) http://statebillinfo.com/bills/fiscal/14/SB129_f1.pdf

Possession of any other controlled substance, including prescription medication not prescribed to you, and illicit drugs can result in felony charges.

(Sources: SB14-129; C.R.S. 18-13-122)

Impaired Driving

There are three main impaired driving offenses teens and young adults should know about:

UDD

Underage Drinking and Driving

(Alcohol only)

  • BAC between .02 and .05
  • Class A infraction

DWAI

Driving While Ability Impaired

(Alcohol & Other Drugs)

  • BAC of .05 or greater
  • Misdemeanor
  • Same charge as adults

DUI

Driving Under the Influence

(Alcohol & Other Drugs)

  • BAC of .08 or greater
  • Misdemeanor
  • Same charge as adults

Of the three, only UDD is specifically for people younger than 21, and is related to alcohol only. The UDD is a Class A for the 1st offense but raises to a misdemeanor for subsequent offenses.

Driving impaired by marijuana, prescription drugs, or illicit drugs will lead to a charge of DWAI or DUI.

The level for DWAI is .050 to .079 pursuant to statute.

UDD punishments result in:

1
First Offense


3 MONTHS

Automatic loss of license for 3 months.

1
Second Offense


6 MONTHS

Automatic loss of license for 6 months.

3
Third Offense


1 YEAR

Automatic loss of license for 1 year.

(C.R.S. 42-2-125 (2.5))

Fake Identification – A Serious Crime

How serious? Making a fake ID is a Class 5 felony (C.R.S.18-5-102, (2)). The charge remains on your record and could limit future job opportunities.

Penalties can include:
  • 1-3 years in prison and/or
  • A fine of $1,000 to $100,000

Hosting Underage Parties involving Alcohol, Marijuana, or Other Drugs.

Adults in Colorado who knowingly help someone younger than 18 break the law – which includes providing minors with alcohol or drugs – can be charged with a Class 4 felony (C.R.S. 18-1.3-401).

Penalties can include:

  • 2-to-6 years in prison, and/or
  • Fines of $2,000 to $500,000 and/or
  • Loss of driving privileges for 6 months (42-2-127.6)

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