Generally, someone who has a blood alcohol level above 0.08 or THC concentration above 5.00 is considered to be driving under the influence in Washington.
However, when the driver is under 21 years of age, the legal limit is actually much lower.
As you know, individuals cannot legally drink alcohol or smoke marijuana in the state until they have hit their 21st birthday. But teenagers and others under the age of 21 still drive drunk and smoke weed, and when they are caught a different set of standards apply to them.
If someone under 21 has an alcohol concentration between 0.02 and 0.07, they can be charged with driving drunk as a minor. (RCW 46.61.503). For some teens, this can be as little as drinking one beer. In addition, if the underage individual is caught driving with any amount of THC in his blood stream, he can also be charged with a DUI.
Underage individuals who are caught with a minor DUI face misdemeanor charges which can consist of a 90-day jail sentence and possible $1,000 fine.
In addition, a minor who is caught driving drunk with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or above or THC level of 5.00 or higher, can still face the normal penalties for drunk driving that applies to adults. This can include a one-year jail time and a possible $5,000 fine for a first-time arrest.
If you are arrested for a drunk driving offense as a minor, you should be aware that you face a different set of standards as well as serious penalties. As a result, you will want experienced legal counsel at your side when you defend against the charges. The attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense have years of drunk driving defense experience and can help defend your rights. Don't hesitate to give us a call at 425-284-2000 to schedule your free consultation.