Minor DUI Attorney in Vancouver, WA: Under 21 Years Old and Driving After Consuming Alcohol or Cannabis

In Washington State, DUI is not the only driving related offense related to drinking and driving. Most people are familiar with the DUI laws and their basic consequences. If you ask the average person, they’d even be able to tell you that you cannot drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. However, many people are unfamiliar with RCW 46.61.503, Driving Under Twenty-One Consuming Alcohol or Cannabis (colloquially called “Minor DUI”).

Under Washington law, if you are under the age of twenty-one (21), it is also a crime to drive within two hours of having a BAC of above 0.02% or with THC in your system.

Elements of a Minor DUI Crime

Specifically, a person is guilty of driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol or cannabis if the person operates or is in physical control of a motor vehicle in Washington State and the person:

(a) is under the age of twenty-one; and

(b) Has, within two hours after operating or being in physical control of the motor vehicle, either:

(i) An alcohol concentration of at least 0.02 but less than the concentration specified in RCW 46.61.502, as shown by analysis of the person’s breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(ii) A THC concentration above 0.00 but less than the concentration specified in RCW 46.61.502, as shown by analysis of the person’s blood made under RCW 46.61.506.

Unlike DUI or Physical Control, RCW 46.61.503 is a simple misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. Additionally, this crime does not require an ignition interlock device like a conviction for a DUI or Physical Control offense.

Your blood alcohol concentration can be proven by either a breath test or a blood test, so it also pays to understand your rights and obligations under Washington law when it comes to these testing procedures.


There are potential defenses to the crime similar to DUI, however. One defense is to prove that the alcohol or cannabis was consumed after driving or being in physical control of the vehicle. RCW 46.61.503 requires that this defense be raised timely so consulting with an attorney is crucial if you wish to raise such a defense.

Like the Physical Control law, the defense of “safely off of the roadway” is likewise available under this statute if it is not alleged or provable that you were driving the motor vehicle after having consumed alcohol or cannabis as well.

There are several other affirmative defenses under the law that might be available.  These sometimes come up in the context of circumstances of the particular case.  These can include necessity, coercion, entrapment, etc.  These defenses are much less common than the enumerated defenses above, but may be applicable in some special cases.  If you are unsure whether you have a valid defense in your case, it pays to consult with an experienced DUI attorney.  We offer a free consultation if you want to explore the particulars of your case.

License Suspension

If you’ve been arrested or convicted of a Minor DUI, you could face a suspension of your license for a ninety day period.  Once arrested, the police are required to notify the Washington Department of Licensing to begin an action to suspend your driver’s license.  You must be provided with a form to request an administrative review hearing.  You only have 7 days to request a hearing if you wish to challenge the license suspension process.  This hearing is generally held over the phone and your attorney can raise many of the defenses available under law at this hearing as well.

If you don’t yet have your standard license and only have an instruction permit, a conviction for Minor DUI can also limit your ability to apply for your standard license once you would otherwise be eligible to apply.  A conviction possibly lead to a suspension from between 90 days to two years depending on your other criminal history.

We Can Help Defend Your Minor DUI Charge

Just because a Minor DUI doesn’t carry the same penalties as a DUI, does not make it a trivial matter.  The consequences can be long-lasting and far-reaching.  At VanWa Legal, we can help advise you on the possible consequences and help you implement a defense to help avoid or minimize the fall out of your criminal charges.  We offer a free consultation on every case and have helped hundreds of similarly situated clients throughout the years.  We can investigate your case, negotiate on your behalf with the prosecution and help you move on with your life with the least negative impact possible.  In some cases, we can also take your case to trial and help clear you of all wrongdoing.  Each case is different, so it pays to consult with an experienced DUI lawyer early in your case.  If you want to take charge of your case and hire a lawyer that can make a difference, call us today to schedule an appointment.

What Our Clients Say About Us

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Roger handled my case promptly and painlessly. We are from out of state and had spoken with quite a few attorneys in the area before we made the trip. Roger was middle of the road cost-wise (which was truly fair)and was clearly competent, handling the case in one trip over as oppose to the two or even three trip process many of the others were communicating would be the case. I would hire again without a second thought. Thanks again Roger.

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Excellent responsiveness, considerate and honest. Roger got the job done results were in my favor. Couldn’t be happier, Highly recommend!!

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Roger Priest provided truly exceptional service for a family member of mine. He was an extraordinary value for the level of knowledge and proffessionalism he provided. My loved one got the deal of a lifetime thanks to him. If any of my friends or family are ever in a less than fortunate spot and need legal advice Roger will always be my #1 reccomendation.

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Roger Priest is professional, intelligent and experienced, you can tell by the way he holds himself in court. Out of the 21 lawyers I interviewed and compared on an excel spreadsheet. I put my trust in Roger and he didn\'t let me down.

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Roger Priest was my Criminal Attorney for a DUI case I had in 2018. Through out the whole process he was in contact and always was reassuring! He gave his honest opinion on rather or not if my case would be worth going to trial, which is hard to come by! Today I left the courtroom a free man to come home to my family with a lot of tension lifted off my shoulders because of how he was articulate and presented my defense. I am very lucky to have him in my corner and to be spared. I will take this experience as a wake up call because these opportunities don\\\'t come too often! Mr. Priest definitely deserves a 5 star rating for his devotion and overall performance.

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Roger Priest was referred to me by another lawyer (who could not take my case). Out of the 3 lawyers I reached out to Mr. Priest was willing to hear my case and not just try and convince me to take the easy route and plead out. He was informative, honest, and very tactical (in his approach with my case). Mr. Priest not only kept me updated with his plans and what to except he involved me in every aspect I could be in. He was very approachable and kind. I won my case, I wouldn’t have if I had gone with another lawyer. I am very satisfied with having had Roger Priest defend me. I hope to never have to use his services again but definitely would rehire him again (I wish I could hire him as my divorce attorney).

Alicia S. 5 star testimonial
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I recently consulted Roger for my first and only legal matter. He explained at length the legal ramifications that i was facing and he listened closely to all my questions and concerns. He was very attentive and empathic towards my situation and did not rush through things. I would highly recommend Roger to anyone I know seeking legal representation.

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