Know the Law

The laws around minors using drugs, alcohol or unauthorized prescription drugs include severe penalties.

Colorado Law

  • In Colorado, recreational marijuana and alcohol are legal, but only for persons 21 and over.
  • It’s a felony if someone over 21 gives recreational marijuana to someone under age.
  • Medical marijuana is only legal if you have a medical marijuana recommendation from a physician.
  • Depending on the drug involved, use of a prescription drug not prescribed for you by a physician can be a felony.
  • The Colorado Department of Transportation estimates the costs associated with a DUI charge (blood alcohol content of .08 or greater) to be $13,000+ and includes lawyer fees, rising insurance rates, fees to get a license back, probation supervision fees, etc..
  • Even trace amounts of alcohol are punishable to people under the age of 21.


Any person younger than age 21 caught with or suspected of consuming alcohol or marijuana is charged with Minor in Possession (MIP). Punishments include:

  • First offense: Fine up to $100 and/or required completion of a substance abuse education program
  • Second offense: Fine up to $100, the required completion of a substance abuse education program, a possible order for substance abuse assessment and related treatment, and 24 hours of public service.
  • Third offense: Fine up to $250, the required completion of a substance abuse assessment and any related treatment, and up to 36 hours of public service

If your child is caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she could be required to do community service, take educational courses, receive steep fines, lose their license or even face jail time.

For additional information about the laws/punishments related alcohol and drug use, visit No DUI Colorado.