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Learning a lesson the hard way

Students attending colleges and universities in the Denver area and across the state of Colorado undoubtedly understand statements made by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. about youth and alcohol. The NCADD says alcohol is the most aggressively promoted, widely available intoxicant in the nation. It's also "the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States -- more than tobacco and illicit drugs."

Even though you must be 21 years old to drink legally, 11 percent of alcohol consumed in this country is by people age 12 to 20, the NCADD says. It's why underage DUI continues to be a problem not only for the young people arrested, but for the parents who know how damaging such a charge can be for their child in the long term.

The NCADD says approximately 11,000 teenagers get their first taste of alcohol every day. More than 4 million of them drink alcohol per month. So the problem is substantial and it is growing, the organization states.

One of the most dangerous methods of alcohol consumption among the young is binge drinking. It typically consists of getting intoxicated and raising the BAC (blood alcohol content) to 0.08 percent or above in less than two hours.

For young men, that BAC level is reached with 5 drinks or more in two hours; for young women, the level is reached with 4 or more drinks in the same time period.

An underage DUI charge won't go away if you ignore it. The accusation is one that can have a long-lasting effect on school or future work opportunities. An experienced Denver DUI defense attorney can help you sort through the legal complexities and come up with a strategy to resolve your problems.

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