If I appear to be under 21 years old,and intoxicated on alcohol, can a law enforcement officer detain me if I refuse to identify myself?

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If I appear to be under 21 years old,and intoxicated on alcohol, can a law enforcement officer detain me if I refuse to identify myself?

I am 19 years-old and I like to occasionally drink alcohol. If I were to be stopped by a law enforcement officer in public after consuming alcohol, and he/she wants to know how old I am, and I refuse to identify myself, does he/she have the legal right to detain me if they have a “hunch” that I am under the legal drinking age?

Asked on August 11, 2012 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What makes you think that they could only "detain you", as you say, for under age drinking?  If you are over the age of 18 you could be arrested and charged with a whole host of offenses: public intoxication, disturbing the peace - what ever they can legally think of.  Even resisting arrest should you become beligerant.  I think that you should think twice here.  Good luck.


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