Q: Can I leave my child unattended in the car while I return a shopping cart or drop something off inside? It'll only take a minute.
A: It is unlawful for any person, while operating or in charge of a vehicle, to leave a minor child or children under 16 years old unattended in the vehicle. It is also illegal to park or willfully allow your vehicle to stand on a public highway or in a public place with its motor running, with a minor under 16 unattended in the vehicle.
Any person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for a violation of this section, the department shall revoke the operator's license of such person.
My advice… Don’t do it! You just never know who you could be parked next to or around and it’s not even worth taking a chance.
Trooper Guy Gill is the Washington State Patrol recruiter and spokesman for District 1, covering Pierce and Thurston counties. Follow him at @wspd1pio on Twitter.
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