A bill that will allow college students as young as 18 sample wine and beer as part of educational programs was approved by state senators this morning.
State Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla introduced the bill, according to a release from the Senate Republican caucus. It would allow the underage students at community and technical colleges to only sample alcoholic beverages, not consume them, as part of their educational training. The students would also have to apply for a special permit.
A similar bill supported by state Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, is under consideration in the House and would extend to students enrolled in a viticulture or enology program at an accredited post-secondary institution.
Washington State University Tri-Cities and Walla Walla Community College both have viticulture and other related programs that have students 21 and older sample alcoholic beverages as part of the curriculum.