The Risks of Underaged Drinking and Fake IDs

Underaged teen drinking and driving

Colorado drivers under age 21 face serious consequences if the police catch them with a fake ID or while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The penalties for these offenses include jail time, fines, community service, and an automatic driver’s license revocation. Furthermore, these offenses stay on a driver’s permanent record, which can have significant secondary effects, including difficulty finding a job or obtaining credit.

The Colorado Springs underage DUI defense lawyers at Peakstone Law Group, formerly Patterson Weaver, strongly urge anyone under age 21 to avoid impaired driving. That said, if the police accuse you of impaired driving or using a fake ID, it’s imperative to contact our experienced and knowledgeable DUI defense attorneys. Without a lawyer’s help, you risk the worst potential outcomes in your case, which can have severe effects on your future.

What Happens If You Get Caught with a Fake ID?

Under Colorado law (C.R.S. 42-2-309), unlawfully using or possessing a fake ID includes the following acts:

  • Displaying any fake or fraudulently obtained ID card
  • Allowing someone else to use your valid ID
  • Photographing, reproducing, or duplicating any ID card

Depending on the facts of the case, violating this law is a petty offense or a Class 2 misdemeanor. A petty offense carries up to 10 days in jail, a $300 fine, or both. The penalties for a Class 2 misdemeanor include up to 120 days in jail, a $750 fine, or both.

In addition to these penalties, most colleges and universities in Colorado have strict policies about underage drinking, especially underage drinking and driving. Violating these policies could have severe academic consequences, including being kicked out of school.

Understanding Underage Drinking Laws in Colorado

Colorado law (C.R.S. 18-13-122) takes a harsh stance on underage drinking and underage drivers getting behind the wheel. Possession of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs is a petty offense punishable by up to $100 in fines, mandatory attendance of a substance abuse education program, or both. The penalties escalate for repeat offenses.

Drivers under age 21 who are caught under the influence of alcohol or drugs can face stiff penalties. Under Colorado law, any driver under age 21 caught with a blood alcohol content (BAC) between 0.02 percent and 0.05 percent can face an underage drinking and driving charge. The penalties for this offense include fines, jail time, and an automatic driver’s license revocation.

Potential Defenses Against Underage Drinking and Fake ID Charges

The right defense strategy for an underage drinking or fake ID charge depends on the facts of the case. Some possible options include:

  • Challenge the circumstances of the arrest – In some cases, a defense lawyer may question the legality of the stop and search that led to the discovery of underage drinking or possession of a fake ID. If law enforcement violated the defendant’s rights, the evidence might be inadmissible.
  • Diversion programs – First-time offenders qualify for diversion programs, where completion might lead to the dismissal of charges. These programs often include community service and education on the dangers of alcohol.
  • Negotiate plea deals – In some cases, a defense attorney may work with prosecutors to negotiate plea deals that might reduce charges or penalties, especially if the defendant has no prior record and the circumstances warrant leniency.
  • Mitigating circumstances – A defense lawyer can highlight any mitigating factors that might have influenced the defendant’s decision to drink underage or use a fake ID, such as peer pressure or family issues, to argue for reduced penalties.

Talk to Our Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Attorneys Now

A conviction for underage drinking or using a fake ID can have disastrous consequences for your future, so make sure you speak to an experienced defense attorney immediately after an arrest.

Call the Peakstone Law Group now or complete our contact form for a free and confidential consultation.