Fort Collins

Colorado Springs

Uh oh… your teenager just got a minor in possession ticket. What happens now? That will largely depend on the details. These are a few of the consequences that might be felt by your driving and/or college age adolescent.   The State now treats underage marijuana and alcohol use similarly. And, although there are slight differences in the way you prove intoxication with marijuana and alcohol, most Colorado universities and colleges view them under the same category.   How will my child’s college treat an MIP? Denver University, Colorado University (Boulder and Denver), and Colorado State University all have similar policies on underage alcohol use. The possession, use, manufacturing, or distribution of alcohol by a minor will result in penalties to anyone found breaking the policy. The consequences of breaking this rule, which is also a law, will have repercussions at school and possibly in criminal court. Prosecutors love these types of cases because they don’t have to prove why alcohol was present, they only have to prove that it was there.   Depending on the school and the details surrounding the event, your student may be required to complete drug/ alcohol abuse classes or complete extra assignments. Parent/ guardian notification is on this list, as well. If an infraction is serious enough or a repeat offense, schools can hand down harsher punishments like probation, suspension, or expulsion.   How will and MIP affect my teen’s driving privileges? One part of the fallout of an MIP for underage drivers can be the loss of driving privileges. The Colorado Department of Revenue controls driver’s license suspensions and will revoke a minor’s license if they are convicted of a MIP. For the first conviction, the license will not be suspended unless the court-ordered community service is not completed. For a second MIP conviction, a driver will lose their license for 6 months. If a third MIP happens, a 12 month suspension will be required, among other things.

My Teenager Was Ticketed for Minor in Possession, Now What?

The frantic phone call from your teenager informing you of a minor in possession (MIP) ticket is a parent’s worst nightmare. In those moments, a whirlwind of emotions and questions arises. What will happen next? How will this affect their future, especially if they’re college-bound or already on the road? The answers to these questions are multifaceted, but it’s essential to understand the legal consequences of MIP cases, particularly in Colorado, where the landscape is evolving due to its progressive stance on marijuana and alcohol.

Colorado’s Approach to Underage Marijuana and Alcohol Use

In Colorado, the legal landscape surrounding underage marijuana and alcohol use has seen a significant shift in recent years. The state now treats both substances similarly, recognizing that they pose distinct challenges and implications for young individuals.

While there are nuanced differences in how intoxication is determined between marijuana and alcohol, it’s noteworthy that most colleges and universities in Colorado categorize them under the same umbrella when it comes to disciplinary matters. This means that whether your teenager is caught with alcohol or marijuana, they may face similar consequences within the educational institutions they attend.

Colleges and MIP: Uniform Policies and Varied Responses

Colleges and universities, such as Denver University, Colorado University (with campuses in Boulder and Denver), and Colorado State University, have enacted policies to address underage alcohol use. These policies align with state laws and treat MIP cases as serious offenses.

The possession, use, manufacturing, or distribution of alcohol by a minor is strictly prohibited. It constitutes a violation of both school policy and state law. This dual nature of the offense creates a challenging scenario for students involved in MIP incidents. Prosecutors, in particular, find these cases appealing because they don’t have to establish the reasons for the presence of alcohol; their sole task is to prove that it was indeed there.

The consequences of an MIP offense at the collegiate level can be far-reaching. Depending on the institution and the specific circumstances surrounding the incident, your student may be required to complete drug and alcohol abuse education programs or additional assignments aimed at addressing the issue. Notification to parents or guardians is typically part of the process. In more serious cases or for repeat offenses, schools have the authority to impose harsher penalties, including probation, suspension, or, in severe instances, expulsion. These penalties can have a lasting impact on your child’s academic progress and future prospects.

MIP and Driving Privileges: A Complex Web

One often-overlooked aspect of the fallout from an MIP for underage drivers is the potential loss of their driving privileges. In Colorado, the Department of Revenue overseas driver’s license suspensions and takes MIP convictions seriously.

The minor’s driver’s license will not be automatically suspended for a first MIP conviction unless they fail to complete court-ordered community service. However, a 6-month license suspension is imposed for a second MIP conviction. The stakes escalate even further for a third MIP offense, where a 12-month license suspension is mandated, among other potential penalties.

The Role of Legal Counsel: Thomas & Ahnell, LLC

In the face of these complex legal consequences and potential life-altering outcomes for your teenager, having the support and guidance of legal experts becomes paramount. This is where Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, comes into play.

Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, is a highly respected law firm in Colorado specializing in alcohol and drug-related driving offenses. Their team of experienced attorneys is well-versed in the intricacies of MIP cases and understands the unique challenges young individuals face in Colorado’s evolving legal landscape.

The role of a seasoned legal team in MIP cases cannot be overstated. They can provide critical insights into the nuances of the law, help you understand your child’s rights, and craft a strong defense strategy. Whether it’s challenging the evidence presented, negotiating with prosecutors, or seeking alternative sentencing options, Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, has the expertise to navigate the legal system effectively.

Moreover, their involvement can significantly mitigate the impact of MIP convictions on your child’s future. With their guidance, you can work towards minimizing the consequences of these legal issues on their education and driving privileges.

In an era where privacy is fleeting, and the legal landscape is ever-changing, seeking professional legal counsel from a firm like Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, can make all the difference in safeguarding your teenager’s prospects and ensuring their rights are protected.


In conclusion, when faced with the daunting challenges of a MIP case involving your teenager, it’s essential to be well-informed and prepared to protect their interests. The legal consequences, particularly in Colorado, can have lasting ramifications. Thomas & Ahnell, LLC stands ready to provide the legal support and guidance necessary to navigate these complexities and safeguard your child’s future. When it comes to your teenager’s well-being and future prospects, seeking expert legal counsel is a wise and proactive choice.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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