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Helping college students contend with underage DUI

Colorado has more than its share of college towns. From Denver to Boulder and from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs -- and a number of spots in between -- there are institutions of higher learning to be found. As is almost always the case with higher learning, there is also a higher rate of partying going on. Let's face it: parties, drinking and hanging out with friends has been a part of college life since your great-grandparents were young.

So it's not surprising that here in Denver and other cities where large schools are to be found, law enforcement officials regularly deal with underage DUI problems. It's not only an enforcement problem, however, as there are serious legal repercussions for those accused of underage drunken driving to deal with, as well as potential academic difficulties and threats to future career opportunities as well.

Some college students under age 21 might try to laugh off of a DUI, but the reality is that if you are pulled over and tested, and your BAC (blood alcohol content) is as low as 0.02 percent, you can be convicted of drunk driving in Colorado. Remember, the BAC threshold for those 21 or older is 0.08 percent, so you can see that those who are underage are held to a much tougher standard.

One study has shown that about one out of three college students use alcohol with such frequency and in such large doses, that they qualify as alcohol abusers. The risk those students pose to themselves and others when they are impaired and behind a wheel is significant.

In many cases, parents want their college-age son or daughter to get the professional help they need to deal with a substance abuse problem rather than having these personal issues dealt with by law enforcement or corrections. An experienced DUI attorney helps parents fight to minimize legal punishments so that treatment options are maximized.

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