Legal Question in DUI Law in Washington

I live in WA state. Last night I was walking with some friends to a party. I had already had a few drinks and I am underage. The cop stopped us and began asking questions. I had heard under some pedestrian law that we are not required to stop and answer anything and I reiterated this to the cop to clarify and he would just move to the next question. I asked if I could go and then he said no and started asking the questions over again and I cooperated this time. I said I did not have ID with me but I gave him all the information he needed to ID me anyways but proceeded to go through my purse and take my wallet and ID out anyways. I was cited for a minor intoxicated in a public place. Did the cops do anything they weren't supposed to or is there anything I can do to have this appealed?

Asked on 5/02/10, 8:23 am

1 Answer from Attorneys


The answer is simply this: Every person is required to show proper identification when requested by a law enforcement official to establish the person's identity. In Washington State, the legal drinking age is 21 but you didn't say how old you really are in your question. Unless you were cited under some municipal or other such statute or ordinance, you were most likely charged with Minor in Possession. That charge can be proven by either showing that the person under 21 years old actually possessed alcoholic beverages or that such person had consumed any such beverages and the ethanol alcohol was in their body. Your only option at this point is to fight this charge in court with a lawyer, There is no appeal at this point; rather it will be a court case involving a misdemeanor charge of MIP. Good Luck!

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Answered on 5/07/10, 12:00 pm

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