M any times, we see young adults sharing alcohol with friends 18 years old, but not yet 21. Provision of alcohol to this age group gives Denver police the opportunity to charge men and women with Unlawful Acts, C.R.S. 12-47-901:
“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 offense is a class one misdemeanor, punishable by up to 18 months in the county jail. Compared to other offenses, prohibiting adults from drinking seems overkill. An eighteen year old woman or man can be taken to jail and tried as an adult, they can be drafted, they vote, and they can be sentenced to prison – all of which involve very serious adult situations. Yet in Douglas, Larimer and Denver County, they are not allowed to consume alcohol.
Common Situations of Unlawful Acts Alcohol Charge
We usually see two situations where people are charged with this crime: First, bartenders are not checking IDs of patrons at a bar, and serve young adults alcohol. Second, men and women at private parties provide alcohol to 18, 19 and 20 year-olds. Unexpected scenarios often occur, like when homeowners have a party and don't realize that people under the age of 21 are drinking beer from a keg. At these informal events, no one is checking IDs. Police often come to check on a noise complaint from a neighbor and run the IDs of everyone drinking beer and spirits. No one thought about intentionally breaking the law – it happened accidently or without thought.
Serving alcohol to adults is illegal, if they are under 21.
Adults, Kids and Alcohol – Under 21 Years in Age, C.R.S. 12-47-901
Men and women are charged with the misdemeanor Unlawful Acts Related to Alcohol in Jefferson, Denver and Arapahoe County after directly or indirectly supplying young adults with alcohol. When the recipient of the alcohol is under 18 and not an adult, the charge is a felony called Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, C.R.S. 18-6-701. In this situation, the child can also be charged with “Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol by an Underage Person,” also known as Minor in Possession (MIP), C.R.S. 18-13-122.