Following is a hypothetical (as well as real-life) scenario applicable to Colorado juveniles under the age of 21.
You consumed a single alcoholic beverage a short time ago and flatly know that you are not a danger to yourself or anyone else if you get behind the wheel and enter traffic on any Colorado street or highway.
And then you’re stopped by a state trooper or local police officer. That is concerning, of course, but elicits no real fear because you know that you are nowhere close to the blood alcohol threshold of 0.08 that marks a drunk driver in jurisdictions across the country.
Say that you blow a 0.02 on a breathalyzer, which is an admittedly low — almost negligible — level. All is OK, right?
Wrong answer, and a misguided assumption that routinely yields stark legal downsides for youth all across the state. As we note on our DUI defense website at the Denver law firm of Shazam Kianpour & Associates, a mere trace of alcohol in a minor’s system can trigger legal consequences.
We duly stress to young readers of our blog that, “If you are under 21, drink one alcoholic beverage and get behind the wheel, you can be charged with DUI.”
And that is not a world you want to enter, even temporarily. Interaction with law enforcers relevant to a DUI stop is tense and frightening. Moreover, it potentially yields fines, penalties and additional exactions that are anything but trivial and that can have lasting adverse effects.
Young people make mistakes. Adults know that, including principals in the criminal justice system. Strong representation provided by a proven defense attorney will fully assert all legal defenses applicable in a given underage DUI case and make persuasive arguments geared toward mitigating the downsides to the fullest degree possible.
Drunk driving-related laws in Colorado can be harsh. Juvenile offenders need to know that and act purposefully to secure best-case outcomes.