Every state’s minor in possession (MIP) law is different. In Colorado, section (3)(a) of the law says, “…a person under twenty-one years of age who possesses or consumes ethyl alcohol (alcohol) anywhere in the state of Colorado commits illegal possession or consumption of ethyl alcohol by an underage person.” Section (3)(b) of the law says, “a person under twenty-one years of age who possesses one ounce or less of marijuana or consumes marijuana anywhere in the state of Colorado commits illegal possession or consumption of marijuana by an underage person. 

The key phrases in both of these sections is possesses or consumes. The definition of consumes is pretty obvious. Someone saw you consume the alcohol or drugs, it can be smelled on your breath, or there are obvious signs such as stumbling, slurred speech, or bloodshot or watery eyes.

It is the possession of the drugs or alcohol that can get confusing. In Colorado, It means alcohol is in your hand, in your pocket, in your backpack that you are wearing or under the seat in the car you are driving, it is in your possession.

If you receive a summons for MIP, you will have to appear in the Boulder Municipal Court. You can learn more about the court process for an MIP on the court’s website.