Minor in Possession or Consumption of Alcohol

Underage drinking is a serious issue for many of Colorado’s youth. What may seem like a fun time may lead to some serious consequences for the teens doing the drinking and for the adult who purchased the alcohol. In Colorado, there are two charges commonly issued for underage drinking: Minor in Possession (MIP) or Consumption of Alcohol (MIC). Every year, over 10,000 MIP citations are given out in Colorado.

Colorado Law

Colorado law states that “any person under twenty-one years of age who possesses or consumes ethyl alcohol anywhere in the state of Colorado commits illegal possession or consumption of ethyl alcohol by an underage person.” And “A person has or holds any amount of ethyl alcohol anywhere on his person, or that a person owns or has custody of ethyl alcohol, or has ethyl alcohol within his immediate presence and control” is considered possession of alcohol. Of course, these charges combined with operating a motor vehicle can have devastating consequences.

If convicted of a Minor in Possession or Consumption of Alcohol charge, the minor can face the following penalties:

First Offense of MIP or MIC in Colorado

On the first offense of a MIP or MIC in Colorado, a fine of up to $250 can be issued. The underage person may be required to provide up to 24 hours of community service, and an alcohol evaluation and treatment plan may be required. The driver’s license of a first time offender may be revoked for up to three months.

Second Offense of MIP or MIC in Colorado

On the second offense of a MIP or MIC in Colorado, a fine of up to $500 can be issued. The underage person may be required to provide up to 24 hours of community service, and an alcohol evaluation and treatment plan may be required. The driver’s license of a first time offender may be revoked for up to six months.

Third Offense of MIP or MIC in Colorado

For the third, or subsequent, offenses the penalties become much more harsh. The third offense is a Class 2 Misdemeanor that can bring six to 18 months in jail, fines of up to $1,000 and loss of license for one year. In addition, alcohol assessments and treatment programs are almost always required and must be paid for by the individual.

Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney Kevin Ellmann
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