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State Profiles of Underage Drinking Laws

- Washington -

Underage Drinking: Underage Possession of Alcohol

Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian

Underage Drinking: Underage Consumption of Alcohol

Consumption is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian

Underage Drinking: Internal Possession by Minors

Internal possession is not explicitly prohibited.

Notes:
INTERNAL POSSESSION: Although Washington does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, it has a statutory provision that makes it unlawful for a minor to "be in a public place…while exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor." Wash. Rev. Code § 66.44.270. Laws that punish minors for displaying "indicators of consumption" or for "exhibiting the effects" of having consumed alcohol, but which do so without reference to a blood, breath, or urine test, are not considered as prohibiting Internal Possession as defined by APIS.

Underage Drinking: Underage Purchase of Alcohol

Purchase is prohibited and there is NO ALLOWANCE for youth purchase for law enforcement purposes.

Underage Drinking: Furnishing Alcohol to Minors

Furnishing is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian

Underage Drinking: Minimum Ages for On-Premises Servers and Bartenders

Beer: 18 for servers and 21 for bartenders
Wine: 18 for servers and 21 for bartenders
Spirits: 18 for servers and 21 for bartenders

Condition(s) that must be met in order for an underage person to sell alcoholic beverages:

  • manager/supervisor is present

Underage Drinking: Minimum Ages for Off-Premises Sellers

Beer: 18
Wine: 18
Spirits: 18

Condition(s) that must be met in order for an underage person to sell alcoholic beverages:

  • manager/supervisor is present

Notes:
There must be at least two adults twenty-one years of age or older on duty supervising the sale of spirits at the licensed premises. Wash. Rev. Code § 66.44.340

Underage Drinking: False Identification for Obtaining Alcohol

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • Penalty may include driver's license suspension through a judicial procedure

Provision(s) targeting suppliers:

  • It is a criminal offense to lend, transfer, or sell a false ID
  • It is a criminal offense to manufacture or distribute a false ID

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • Specific affirmative defense - the retailer inspected the false ID and came to a reasonable conclusion based on its appearance that it was valid

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits: Youth (Underage Operators of Noncommercial Motor Vehicles)
BAC limit: 0.02 - a BAC level above the limit is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.

Applies to drivers under age 21.

Retail Sales: Keg Registration

Keg definition: 4 or more gallons

Prohibited:

  • possessing an unregistered, unlabeled keg - max. fine/jail: $5000 / 1 year
  • destroying the label on a keg - max. fine/jail: $5000 / 1 year

Purchaser information collected:

  • purchaser's name and address
  • verified by a government-issued ID
  • address where keg will be consumed
  • Warning information to purchaser: active – purchaser action required (e.g., signature)

    Deposit: not required

    Provisions do not specifically address disposable kegs

    Notes:
    Under a special endorsement from the liquor control board, a grocery store licensee may sell malt liquor in containers no larger than five and one-half gallons. Research revealed no similar container size restriction imposed on other licensees. See Wash. Rev. Code § 66.28.200.

    Underage Drinking: Use/Lose: Driving Privileges

    Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:

    • Underage purchase
    • Underage possession
    • Underage consumption

    Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 18

    Authority to impose driver's license sanction

    • mandatory

    Length of suspension/revocation: 365 days

    Notes:
    In Washington, the driving privileges of a juvenile shall be revoked for one year, or until the juvenile reaches 17 years of age, whichever is longer.

    Underage Drinking: Prohibitions Against Hosting Underage Drinking Parties

    Social host law is not specifically limited to underage drinking parties.

    Action by underage guest that triggers violation: Consumption

    Property type(s) covered by liability law:

    • Residence
    • Outdoor
    • Other

    Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: NEGLIGENCE - host knew or should have known of the event's occurrence (in legal terminology this is referred to as "constructive knowledge")

    Exception(s):

    • Family

    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services USA.gov - Government Made Easy