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What should you know about underage drinking crimes?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Washington law specifically sets the legal drinking age at 21. The law also gives details on how someone underage could commit a minor in possession crime.

According to the University of Puget Sound, minor in possession applies to those under the age of 21. The use of “minor” in this case is not referring the typical age associated with the term, which is those under 18 years old. Because alcohol laws are much different than others, it is important to understand this usage of the term “minor.”

What you cannot do

If you are under 21 years old, you cannot drink alcohol in public or try to purchase it. If an officer catches you possessing or attempting to purchase a beverage, you will face a criminal charge for the offense. You may also have to pay a fine or go to jail. In addition, you cannot be under the influence of alcohol in public places. Even if you do not have a beverage at the time, if an officer sees you are intoxicated, you could face detention and punishment for underage consumption.

Definition of public

Public refers to any property outside your home. It includes vehicles.

Important point

Not only could you get in trouble for drinking under the age of 21 but also anyone with you could get in trouble. If you are with individuals who are age 21 or older, they could face charges for supplying you with the substance or enabling you to consume alcohol. It is illegal for anyone to provide you with or allow you to drink alcohol when you are underage.

Legally, you should not drink alcoholic beverages if you are not of the legal age. Doing so could subject you to minor in possession criminal charges.

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