If you, or someone you know, is facing a Washington state driver under twenty-one consuming alcohol (often referred to as "minor DUI"), the government must prove the elements of that offense beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements are laid out under the Washington State criminal statutes.
Minor DUI = Misdemeanor
Minor DUI is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1000 fine. A minor DUI does not carry any loss of license from a criminal conviction. However, there is an administrative suspension based upon the arrest (not the conviction). You can and should fight this by requesting a Department of Licensing hearing within 20 days of your arrest.
A Washington State minor DUI is not considered a prior offense under RCW 46.61.5055 for mandatory sentencing enhancements if there is a later DUI. If you have any questions about the elements of the Washington State minor DUI charges, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
Revised Code of Washington Statutes
Below is the Revised Code of Washington statutes (what the Washington State government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you of this crime):
RCW 46.61.503 Driver under Twenty-one Consuming Alcohol — Penalties
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, a person is guilty of driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol if the person operates or is in physical control of a motor vehicle within this state and the person:
(a) Is under the age of twenty-one;
(b) Has, within two hours after operating or being in physical control of the motor vehicle, an alcohol concentration of at least 0.02 but less than the concentration specified in RCW 46.61.502, as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506.
(2) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection (1) of this section which the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant consumed a sufficient quantity of alcohol after the time of driving or being in physical control and before the administration of an analysis of the person's breath or blood to cause the defendant's alcohol concentration to be in violation of subsection (1) of this section within two hours after driving or being in physical control. The court shall not admit evidence of this defense unless the defendant notifies the prosecution prior to the earlier of: (a) Seven days prior to trial; or (b) the omnibus or pretrial hearing in the case of the defendant's intent to assert the affirmative defense.
(3) Analyses of blood or breath samples obtained more than two hours after the alleged driving or being in physical control may be used as evidence that within two hours of the alleged driving or being in physical control, a person had an alcohol concentration in violation of subsection (1) of this section.
(4) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor.