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DUI in Washington DC

DWI in Washington DC

If you have been arrested in Northern Virginia, Arlington County, Prince William County or any part of the Washington, D.C. metro area, a Washington, D.C., DUI lawyer can help. DUI lawyers understand DUI laws and after reviewing your case they can help you decide whether it makes sense to fight the charges or plead guilty.

Penalties for DUI can be very serious. DUI penalties can vary depending on the number of times a driver has been convicted but commonly penalties include large fines, jail terms and suspension of the driver's license. Drivers who have been arrested multiple times or who have injured or killed another driver should calla DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss their DUI case.

DUI/DWI and OWI laws in Washington, D.C.
Drivers who operate a motorized vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08% or higher can be charged with "driving under the influence" or DUI. Drivers who have a BAC between 0.04% and 0.08% can be charged with DWI or "driving while impaired". Drivers can also be charged with "operating a motor vehicle while impaired" or OWI. OWI is generally the least serious of the three charges.

Drivers who have a BAC of 0.08% or higher can be arrested for DUI even if they do not exhibit any physical or mental impairment while operating their vehicle. Drivers who have a BAC of less than 0.08% can be arrested, charged and convicted of a DWI if the state can prove they were driving while impaired and their driving was unsafe. Evidence of intoxication can include any type of erratic or unlawful driving actions. Physical evidence can include slurred speech, loss of coordination and balance or blood shot and watery eyes.

Penalties for DUI/OWI in Washington D.C.

First DUI/DWI conviction

  • Potential jail stay of 90 days maximum (higher jail term for drivers who have a high BAC)
  • Required to pay fines of $300 to $1,000
  • Mandatory 6 month license suspension
  • Drivers who are have a passenger who is 17 years old or younger in the car at the time of the arrest will be charged a fine of $500 to $1,000 and up to 48 hours of community service

First OWI conviction

  • Required to stay up to 30 days in jail
  • Required to pay a fine of $200 to $300

Second DUI/DWI conviction

  • Required jail stay of 5 days up to 1 year maximum or 30 days of community service
  • Required to pay fines of $1,000 to $5,000
  • Up to a 1 year license suspension

Second OWI conviction

  • Required to spend at least 5 days minimum and up to 1 year in jail or do at least 30 days of community service.
  • Required to pay a $300 to $500 fine

Third DUI conviction

  • Required jail stay of 10 days up to 1 year maximum or at least 60 days of community service
  • Required to pay fines of $2,000 to $10,000
  • Mandatory 2 year license suspension

Third OWI conviction

  • Required stay in jail for 10 days up to 1 year or at least 60 days of community service
  • Required to pay fines of $1,000 to $5,000

Washington, D.C., implied consent law
Washington, D.C., drivers who have a valid license have given their implied consent for a BAC test or blood alcohol test (urine, blood or breathing test) if a police officer suspects they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drivers who refuse to submit to the test could lose their license for a specified period of time. Drivers also have the legal right to request a second test at a location of their choosing (which the driver must pay for).

Drivers who refuse the first BAC test can receive:

  • License suspension up to 1 year
  • Required to pay a $200 to $300 fine
  • Required jail stay up to 30 days

Drivers who refuse the second BAC test can receive:

  • Required jail stay up to 90 days

Drivers who refuse the third BAC test can receive:

  • Required loss of license up to 3 years
  • Required to pay a fine of $1,000 to $5,000
  • Required to spend up to 1 year in jail

If the driver's Washington, D.C., license has been suspended it is for a temporary period designated by the courts. If a driver's license has been revoked it means they have lost their driving privileges.