Furnishing liquor to minors — Possession, use — Penalties — Exhibition of effects — Exceptions.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to sell, give, or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of twenty-one years or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on his or her premises or on any premises under his or her control. For the purposes of this subsection, "premises" includes real property, houses, buildings, and other structures, and motor vehicles and watercraft. A violation of this subsection is a gross misdemeanor punishable as provided for in chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(2)(a) It is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one years to possess, consume, or otherwise acquire any liquor. A violation of this subsection is a gross misdemeanor punishable as provided for in chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(b) It is unlawful for a person under the age of twenty-one years to be in a public place, or to be in a motor vehicle in a public place, while exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor. For purposes of this subsection, exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor means that a person has the odor of liquor on his or her breath and either: (i) Is in possession of or close proximity to a container that has or recently had liquor in it; or (ii) by speech, manner, appearance, behavior, lack of coordination, or otherwise, exhibits that he or she is under the influence of liquor. This subsection (2)(b) does not apply if the person is in the presence of a parent or guardian or has consumed or is consuming liquor under circumstances described in subsection (4), (5), or (6) of this section.
(3) Subsections (1) and (2)(a) of this section do not apply to liquor given or permitted to be given to a person under the age of twenty-one years by a parent or guardian and consumed in the presence of the parent or guardian. This subsection shall not authorize consumption or possession of liquor by a person under the age of twenty-one years on any premises licensed under chapter 66.24 RCW.
(4) This section does not apply to liquor given for medicinal purposes to a person under the age of twenty-one years by a parent, guardian, physician, or dentist.
(5) This section does not apply to liquor given to a person under the age of twenty-one years when such liquor is being used in connection with religious services and the amount consumed is the minimal amount necessary for the religious service.
(6)(a) A person under the age of twenty-one years acting in good faith who seeks medical assistance for someone experiencing alcohol poisoning shall not be charged or prosecuted under subsection (2)(a) of this section, if the evidence for the charge was obtained as a result of the person seeking medical assistance.
(b) A person under the age of twenty-one years who experiences alcohol poisoning and is in need of medical assistance shall not be charged or prosecuted under subsection (2)(a) of this section, if the evidence for the charge was obtained as a result of the poisoning and need for medical assistance.
(c) The protection in this subsection shall not be grounds for suppression of evidence in other criminal charges.
(7) Conviction or forfeiture of bail for a violation of this section by a person under the age of twenty-one years at the time of such conviction or forfeiture shall not be a disqualification of that person to acquire a license to sell or dispense any liquor after that person has attained the age of twenty-one years.
[2013 c 112 § 2; 1998 c 4 § 1; 1993 c 513 § 1; 1987 c 458 § 3; 1955 c 70 § 2. Prior: 1935 c 174 § 6(1); 1933 ex.s. c 62 § 37(1); RRS § 7306-37(1); prior: Code 1881 § 939; 1877 p 205 § 5.]
| Intent -- 2013 c 112: "The legislature intends to save lives by increasing timely medical attention to alcohol poisoning victims through the establishment of limited immunity from prosecution for people under the age of twenty-one years who seek medical assistance in alcohol poisoning situations. Dozens of alcohol poisonings occur each year in Washington state. Many of these incidents occur because people delay or forego seeking medical assistance for fear of arrest or police involvement, which researchers continually identify as a significant barrier to the ideal response of calling 911." [2013 c 112 § 1.]|
Severability -- 1987 c 458: See note following RCW 48.21.160.
Minors, access to tobacco, role of liquor control board: Chapter 70.155 RCW.