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Colorado Alcohol Laws

Alcohol Laws Disclaimer Free Online DUI Case EvaluationWhere to Buy Alcohol

Retail stores in Colorado sell spirits, wine, and beer. Grocery and convenience stores sell 3.2 percent beer only, and then not between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Package stores are open 8 a.m. until midnight and are closed on Sundays. Bars stop selling alcohol between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Legal Age for Drinking/Serving Alcohol

You must be 21 to drink alcohol or work in a bar or package store, or 18 to serve alcohol in a restaurant as long as a supervisor over the age of 21 is present.

Open Container Laws

Previously opened bottles of alcohol, such as resealed wine, must be stored in a car’s trunk. No one in a vehicle may have an open alcohol container.

BAC Limits

Like most states, the maximum blood-alcohol content (BAC) level is .08 percent. For a driver with a higher BAC, s/he is considered ‘per se intoxicated’ and can be convicted on the BAC alone; no other evidence is required.

A driver refusing to allow BAC testing or a BAC result that is .17 percent above the legal limit of .08 percent will experience more severe minimum mandatory penalties.

‘Zero tolerance laws’ are intended to keep under-age drivers from drinking. A driver under the age of 21 with a BAC of.02 percent or above is subject to DUI penalties.


A driver is required to show proof of insurance and a driver’s license, and to submit to breath, blood, or urine testing for intoxication under ‘implied consent laws’ that went into effect when the driver signed for a license. Refusing to cooperate can mean a penalty of a suspended license for up to a year.

Free Online DUI Case EvaluationThe first DUI offense in Colorado incurs a license suspension by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) of 90 days. The second offense incurs one year’s suspension, and a third offense mandates one year’s loss of driving privileges. A vehicle cannot be confiscated in Colorado for DUI conviction, but an ignition interlock device is a possible penalty as is mandatory alcohol education and assessment or treatment for alcohol dependency.