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What's the Legal Drinking Age in Washington?

How old do you have to be to purchase alcohol in Washington?

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In Washington, as in all 50 states, the age to legally purchase alcohol is 21 years.

Washington has a zero tolerance policy towards underage drinking and driving. While the over-21 blood alcohol level for a DUI is .08, it is just .02 for anyone under 21. Note that it takes very little alcohol to achieve .02 and the penalties for a minor driving under the influence can be very severe.

The only legal circumstances were a person under 21 can drink in Washington is in a private residence in the presence of their parent or guardian or for a religious ceremony such as Roman Catholic communion.

Concerns about laxer enforcement of drinking age laws have emerged as part of the debate over Initiatives 1100 and 1105. Both initiatives, while different in some ways, would allow private retailers to sell hard alcohol in Washington.

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