If you were arrested in the District of Columbia for drunk driving, an officer believed that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drug(s) to the extent that your motor skills, mental faculties and reaction times were so impaired that you were unable to operate that motor vehicle safely.
Washington, D.C. has several different drunk driving laws all under the the DUI umbrella. DWI, Driving While Intoxicated, is driving a vehicle with with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, driving while intoxicated of alcohol. A DWI also applies to anyone under the age of 21 who has any measurable amount of alcohol in the system. DUI, Driving Under the Influence, is driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs or both that you are unable to drive safely regardless of blood alcohol level. OWI, Operating While Impaired, is where the officer believes that you were impaired, but not quite under the influence. Anyone driving .05% BAC or above is presumed to be DUI and OWI.
When you are arrested for drunk driving in DC, two separate cases start. There is the criminal court case, which determines fines, jail time, community service, and other similar items. There is also the administrative side with the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles, which determines your licensing status. Washington, D.C. has one of the shortest time periods to request a DMV hearing before your license is suspended because of a drunk driving arrest: 5 days!
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DUI PENALTIES
If you are convicted of your DC drunk driving charges, you can expect to pay substantial fines and be subject to various penalties (depending on the circumstances), up to 90 days of jail time on a first offense. If you are convicted of your first DC DUI, you could be fined thousands of dollars! If your BAC is found to be .20 or higher you will have to serve 5 days in jail, 15 days if your BAC is .25 and higher. If convicted of your first DUI you may also be required to complete community service, sometimes in lieu of jail time. If this is your second or third DUI, the Washington, D.C. also requires you to install an Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle.
If you are convicted of your Washington, D.C. DUI, in addition to fines and penalties, you will also be required to complete DUI school in order to restore your license by the DC DMV. In DC, you may have your license suspended up to 90 days.
All hope is not lost, however. In certain circumstances, persons arrested for DWI, DUI, or OWI may be eligible for pretrial diversion, which are essentially drunk driving classes. If successfully completed, the drunk driving charges may be dismissed.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DUI LAWYER
District of Columbia DUI attorneys defend DWI, DUI, and OWI offenses in the District of Columbia. A good DC DUI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with the two separate cases that you’re facing and offer drunk driving defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal DUI charges and the administrate case with DMV, regarding a license suspension or revocation.