Alcohol shows up almost everywhere in society. Whether watching a TV show, attending a party or just having dinner with friends, alcohol is very likely to make an appearance. It is understandable that Washington teenagers are often curious about alcohol, but the law does not treat that curiosity kindly. Teenagers who are found with alcohol can be accused of a minor in possession violation.

MIP violations apply to both adults and teens who are under the age of 21, and they can involve either alcohol or illegal drugs. An MIP violation can come as a surprise too, as someone can be accused even if he or she is not drinking or in direct possession of any illegal substances. This is because an MIP violation only requires that alcohol be around or near you.

These offenses have serious, real life consequences that can negatively impact a person’s day-to-day life. Following a first offense, a teenager may lose his or her driving privileges until age 17 or for a period of one year. A second offense has more serious consequences, including losing driving privileges until 18 or for two years. This can affect a teen’s ability to maintain a part time job or get to and from school.

Unfortunately, some teenagers in Washington end up facing legal consequences for their friends’ actions rather than their own. Even riding in a car where a friend has placed alcohol under the seat is enough cause for allegations of minor in possession violations. Although this can be distressing, educating one’s self about this type of charge can help minimize uncertainty when deciding how to handle the situation.