Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

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  Alcohol and Other Drugs 
  Teen Alcohol Awareness 
  Alcohol Missuse 
  Teens Using Drugs 

MIP Laws

While driving with some friends, you are suddenly pulled over by a police officer. The officer asks to search the vehicle. The police officer writes you and your friends up as minors in possession, and you are left wondering what is going on. You ask why, and he tells you he found a six pack under one of the seats.

This scenario happens almost every weekend. Law enforcement agencies around Washington are now cracking down on underage drinking, and officials say there will be zero tolerance for this issue.


The Washington State MIP law states tha t anyone under the age of 21 in possession of alcohol, or any illegal drug, is breaking the law. An MIP charge can be given even if the person is not drinking or does not possess an illegal substance. Possession is defined as having alcohol anywhere around you.


The first offense could lead to having your license revoked until the age of 17, or for at least one year. A second offense could result in having your driver's license revoked until age 18, or for at least two years. Remember, this can happen even if you are not drinking. A friend's six-pack found under the seat could lead you to lose your driving privileges.

You can avoid all of this by staying away from the parties and those camping trips in the hills. Double check the consequences of choosing to drink at a young age. It could keep you from enjoying a sober teen life, and possibly from living a sober adult life. It's simple: "You don't have to be buzzed to be busted."