Underage Drinking

Washington

The policy topics, below, address statues and regulations related to underage drinking and access to alcohol.

Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian

Consumption is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian

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.

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

Furnishing is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian
  • 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
  • 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

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • No driver's license suspension 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

BAC limit: 0.02 - a BAC level above the limit is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.

Applies to drivers under age 21.

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.

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.

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