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Alcohol and Adults Under 21 Years - C.R.S. 12-47-901

In the past, we've seen men and women charged with a felony in Denver, Jefferson and Arapahoe County after providing minors with alcohol. This felony is called Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, C.R.S. 18-6-701, and is related to aiding any child under 18 to break a law. It is also called "Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol by an Underage Person", or Minor in Possession (MIP), C.R.S. 18-13-122. Another crime is on the rise: Unlawful Acts related to alcohol.

Elements of Unlawful Acts, C.R.S. 12-47-901

Today, we see many adults charged with sharing alcohol with friends who are at least 18 years old. Unlawful Acts, C.R.S. 12-47-901, states: "it is unlawful for any person to sell, serve, give away, dispose of, exchange, or deliver or permit the sale, serving, giving, or procuring of any alcohol beverage to or for any person under the age of twenty-one years. This class one misdemeanor takes many of our clients by surprise.

We join many common sense people who complain that prohibiting adults from drinking doesn't make sense. An eighteen year old man or woman can be arrested and tried as an adult, they can be drafted into the armed forces, they can vote, and they can go to prison - all which are very adult situations. However, in Douglas, Adams and Larimer County, they cannot decide to possess or consume alcohol.

Common Scenarios for an Unlawful Acts Alcohol Charge

We usually see two scenarios for this crime: 1) bartenders not checking the ID of younger men and women at a bar, and then serving them a drink, 2) older men and women at private parties serving drinks like beer and spirits to 18, 19 and 20 year olds. Unexpected scenarios often occur, like where the person charged bought a keg for open consumption at a party - not realizing that friends would bring friends under 21 to the party. Police come to check out the party on a noise complaint and check the ID of everyone drinking. No one is intending to break the law and no one imagined that a law was even being violated.

Serving alcohol to a person who looks over twenty-one should not be a crime. We have defenses to this overly strict charge. So be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact one of our experienced criminal trial lawyers at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

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