There is nothing new about minors getting caught drinking alcohol. While in decades past, the police would confiscate the alcohol and possibly notify the parents, Colorado law now lists it as Minor in Possession or Consumption of Alcohol (MIP MIC). It is punishable with a maximum fine of $250 for a first conviction, $500 for a second conviction, and a jailable Class 2 Misdemeanor for all subsequent convictions.
There is a lot at stake
While some parents may look at these fines as no big deal, but there are other potential charges and penalties. These can include:
- The use of a fake ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense.
- The court may order 24 hours of public service.
- The court may revoke the minor’s license.
- The blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers is .02 rather than .08
- There may be other related criminal charges as well.
Charges can follow them
There are a number of additional problems and penalties that may impact the life of the minor charged, even when they are a first-time offender. These include:
- Schools may expel or penalize them for violating their student code of conduct.
- Even if the school does not expel them, student-athletes may be kicked off a team for violating their code of conduct.
- Motor vehicle insurance rates may go up.
- A criminal record can impact their ability to get a job or qualify for student aid.
- Subsequent penalties will be more severe.
It is best to take these charges seriously
Kids will make mistakes, but the parents can help them bounce back by taking the charges seriously. Parents can help minimize the long-term fallout by working with an attorney who specializes in criminal defense and representing the interests of minors. They can ask to have the records sealed. They can also argue to ensure that the penalties reflect the MIP or MIC charges and the true nature of the young person involved.