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Liquor law in Colorado

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This article will discuss the drinking age in Colorado for adults in the USA. The state of Colorado has specific laws regarding the legal drinking age and related regulations. It is important to know these laws to avoid any legal trouble related to alcohol consumption.

Drinking Age in Colorado

In Colorado, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. It is illegal for any person under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages. This law applies to all individuals regardless of their residency status or whether they are a citizen of the United States.

Exceptions to the Drinking Age

There are a few exceptions to the legal drinking age in Colorado. These include:

  • 18-year-olds who are members of the U.S. military or who are veterans may purchase and consume alcohol on military bases.
  • Individuals who are 18 years or older may be served alcohol in a private residence as long as it is with the approval and presence of their parent or legal guardian.

Penalties for Violating the Drinking Age

The penalties for violating the drinking age in Colorado can be severe. Individuals who violate the law may face a fine, community service, and/or a driver's license suspension. Additionally, individuals who provide alcohol to minors can also face legal consequences.


In conclusion, the legal drinking age in Colorado is 21 years old. It is illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to purchase, possess or consume alcoholic beverages in the state. However, there are some exceptions to this law which include military personnel and individuals consuming alcohol in a private residence with parental or guardian approval. It is important to be aware of these laws to avoid any legal trouble related to alcohol consumption.

Driving and Alcohol Laws in Colorado

Colorado has strict laws when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. The following is a brief summary of the most important things you need to know:

Legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limit

Driver's Age BAC Limit
21 and older 0.08%
Under 21 0.02%

Colorado has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. If you’re caught driving with a BAC above the legal limit, you’ll face serious consequences.

Penalties for DUI/DWAI

Offense Jail Time Fine License Suspension
First DUI 5 days to 1 year $600 to $1,000 9 months
Second DUI 10 days to 1 year $600 to $1,500 1 year
Third DUI 60 days to 1 year $600 to $1,500 2 years
DWAI (first offense) 2 days to 180 days $200 to $500 8 months

A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) conviction can result in jail time, fines, and the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. A DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) conviction carries less severe penalties but can still affect your driving privileges.

Implied Consent Law

In Colorado, drivers are subject to implied consent laws. This means that if you’re pulled over by a police officer and asked to take a breathalyzer or blood test, you’re required to comply. Refusing to take a chemical test can result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

Open Container Law

Colorado has an open container law that prohibits drivers and passengers from possessing an open container of alcohol in a vehicle. The law applies to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.


Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in Colorado. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, it’s important to understand the state’s laws and the consequences of breaking them. Always remember to designate a sober driver or use a ride-sharing service if you plan on drinking.

Blood Alcohol Concentration in Colorado

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Effect on Driving Ability
Below 0.05% No impairment
0.05% - 0.079% Some impairment
0.08% and above Illegal limit

In Colorado, it is illegal for drivers over the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, even lower BAC levels can impair driving ability and increase the risk of accidents.

If a driver is found to have a BAC between 0.05% and 0.079%, they may be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). This is a lesser offense than Driving Under the Influence (DUI) for BAC levels over 0.08%, but can still result in fines, license suspension, and even jail time.

It's important for adults in Colorado to understand the effects of alcohol on driving ability and to always have a designated driver or use a ride-sharing service if they plan to drink.

Open container law in Colorado

Summary: Open Container Law in Colorado

The open container law in Colorado prohibits drivers and passengers from possessing an open container of alcohol while operating or riding in a motor vehicle on a public highway. Here are the key points to know:


  • Drivers and passengers cannot have an open container of alcohol, regardless of whether they are drinking from it or not.
  • An "open container" means any bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains alcohol and has been opened or has a broken seal.
  • The law applies to all public highways, including streets, roads, and highways.
  • Violations of the open container law are considered traffic infractions and may result in fines.


There are a few exceptions to the open container law:

  • The law does not apply to passengers in the living quarters of a recreational vehicle or to passengers in a limousine or bus where the driver is separated from the passengers by a partition.
  • The law also does not apply to alcohol that is transported in the trunk of a car or in another area of the vehicle that is not readily accessible to the driver or passengers.


Violations of the open container law are considered traffic infractions and may result in fines of up to $100 for a first offense and up to $200 for a second or subsequent offense. In addition to the fines, a conviction for an open container violation may also result in points being added to the driver's license.

In summary, Colorado's open container law is designed to promote safe driving and prevent drinking and driving. Drivers and passengers should be aware of the law's prohibitions and exceptions to avoid fines and penalties.

Colorado Liquor Sale Open Hours

Liquor Sale Open Hours in Colorado
Monday - Saturday: 8:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Sunday: 9:00 AM - 12:00 AM

According to Colorado liquor laws, the sale of alcoholic beverages is allowed in liquor stores from Monday to Saturday between 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM. On Sundays, liquor stores can sell alcohol from 9:00 AM to 12:00 AM.

It should be noted that these hours apply only to liquor stores, and not to bars or restaurants. The sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants is regulated by local ordinances, and may vary from one city or county to another.

Also, it is important to mention that Colorado has a legal age requirement of 21 years old to purchase and consume alcohol. Any individual found violating this law can face serious legal consequences.

Therefore, it is recommended to always be aware of the liquor sale open hours and alcohol laws in Colorado to avoid any legal issues.