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State Law In


What does state law say?

It is against the law to sell, give, or otherwise supply or permit alcohol to be provided to an underage person.

Premises of a person including: real property, houses, buildings, and other structures, and motor vehicles and watercraft.

What happens if an adult breaks the law?

Adults who are charged with this violation face a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year.  This is a gross misdemeanor.

Can adult do anything to rescind the violation?

Not addressed.

Can the adult be sued?

The State of Washington has not enacted a law regarding civil penalties for social hosting.  In the absence of a statute, case law is mixed.  In Reynolds v. Hicks, the court found that there is no evidence that the legislature intends to hold social hosts civilly liable for alcohol-related injuries. In Hansen v. Friend, the court ruled that a social host is liable based on the principle of duty to care.

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Are there local laws that I should be aware of?

It is possible. Check with your local municipality since there are some communities that enact additional local ordinances which can include fines and other penalties.