Under Colorado law, Illegal Possession Or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol Or Marijuana, or Illegal Possession Of Marijuana Paraphernalia By An Underage Person, (MIP MIC) Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-13-122, are punishable by a fine up to $100 for a first conviction or a second conviction, and $500 for third and subsequent convictions. Penalties also include up to thirty-six hours community service, an alcohol evaluation or assessment, and an alcohol education program or alcohol treatment program, all at the defendant's expense.
In addition, the Colorado Department of Revenue may revoke the driver's license of any person convicted of Minor in Possession or Consumption of Alcohol or Marijuana. For the first conviction, the driver's license revocation will be for three months unless you complete the required alcohol class. For the second conviction, the revocation will be for six months, and for any third or subsequent conviction, one year. (Third and subsequent convictions also become jailable misdemeanors.) For more information about driver's license consequences, see the Colorado Revised Statutes Section 42-2-125 or contact the Colorado Department of Revenue. You must take certain steps to reinstate your driver's license, including paying a reinstatement fee and retaking both the written and the driving tests.
Colorado law states:
"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." According to the Colorado legislature, possession means that "a person has or holds any amount anywhere on his person, or that a person owns or has custody of, or has within his immediate presence and control." Evidence may include that the defendant was under twenty-one and possessed or consumed alcohol or marijuana in Colorado, or evidence that the defendant was under twenty-one and manifested characteristics of intoxication or impairment while in Colorado. Examples of these characteristics include the smell of alcohol on the minor's breath, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, etc.
Note: If a police officer, suspecting you of Minor in Consumption of Alcohol, asks you to take a portable breath test in order to determine whether you have consumed alcohol, you have the right to refuse this test.
There are several defenses to Minor in Possession or Consumption of Alcohol. These include: (1) The alcohol was possessed or consumed while the minor was legally on private property with the knowledge and consent of the owner or possessor of the property and the alcohol was possessed or consumed with the consent of the minor's parent or legal guardian who was present; (2) The alcohol in the minor's body was due solely to the ingestion of a confectionery or a substance not intended for human ingestion (see the Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-13-122 for further information); or (3) The possession or consumption took place for religious purposes protected by the first amendment to the United States Constitution.
If you are convicted of Minor in Possession or Consumption of Alcohol, you may be able to have your record sealed one year after the conviction, if you have not been arrested for, charged with or convicted of any crime during that year.