Alcohol and driving don't combine well. Drivers who have had too much to drink take longer to react to something unexpected. They may have trouble making good decisions or staying focused on the road. Drunk drivers can fall asleep at the wheel or swerve their vehicle into other lanes of traffic or right off the road.
Anyone who fails a chemical breath test during a traffic stop or after a crash could get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Colorado. However, younger drivers are at elevated risk if they have had any alcohol at all.
There is no safe amount of alcohol for a teenager who wants to drive. Even a single drink could put a teenage driver over the legal limit.
For most drivers, they cannot get behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. For teen drivers subject to the zero-tolerance rules in Colorado, a BAC of just 0.02% is enough to trigger impaired driving charges.
Depending on the circumstances, they might face DUI charges or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) charges. A combination of factors, ranging from their performance on the road to the BAC recorded from their chemical test will determine which charge they face.
In either scenario, those underage charges will likely mean the loss of someone's license and much higher insurance costs when the driver gets their license back eventually. Just like adults accused of drunk driving, underage drivers facing allegations of impaired driving have the right to defend themselves in court. Challenging breath tests or contesting the validity of a traffic stop could help someone defend against pending underage DUI charges in Colorado.