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Washington, D.C., Administrative License Suspension

If you have a valid driver’s license in the Washington, D.C.,  you have given your implied consent to submit to a chemical test or blood alcohol content test of your blood, breath, or urine if a lawful request is made by a law enforcement officer, who suspects you are intoxicated and you are unable to safely operate your motorized vehicle. If you refuse a blood alcohol content test, under Washington’s Implied Consent laws you can have your Washington, D.C.,  driver’s license revoked for a period of 12 months. The police officer is supposed to notify you of the refusal penalties, but if you continue to refuse the blood alcohol content test, the law enforcement officer will not perform the test. The refusal, however, may be used as evidence in your DUI trial, and you will not be allowed to participate in the Washington, D.C., pretrial diversion program.

What happens to my license after my Washington, D.C., drunk driving arrest?

  If you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol content test or you submit to the test and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit of 0.08%, the police will confiscate your license. To challenge the driver’s license suspension you must request a hearing with the Washington, D.C., Department of Motor Vehicles within 5 days of your drunk driving arrest. If you do not live in the District of Columbia you will have 10 days from your drunk driving arrest to request the hearing. If you fail to request the administrative hearing your license will automatically be suspended five days after the drunk driving arrest.

Administrative License Hearing in Washington, D.C.

  Most drivers who are arrested for drunk driving immediately contact a drunk driving lawyer who can review their DUI arrest and attend the administrative hearing. If you have requested a hearing you and your DUI lawyer will be attempting to disprove the following:
  • The law enforcement officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe you were  “driving or had actual control of a motor vehicle upon the public street or highway while the person's alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or more, or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or any combination thereof, or while the person's ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by the consumption of intoxicating liquor.”
  • You were not lawfully arrested or you did not refuse to submit to the blood alcohol content test; or
  • You were not properly informed of the consequences of such refusal.
If you and your drunk driving lawyer are successfully able to defend against the above the court will overturn the revocation and your driving privileges will be reinstated. If you and your drunk driving lawyer are unable to disprove the above, the court will uphold the license revocation and the administrative penalties will take effect.\

What are the Administrative license suspension penalties in Washington, D.C., after DUI?

  If you refused to take the blood alcohol content test you will have your license suspended for six month for a first time drunk driving arrest. Drivers who refuse a chemical test after a second drunk driving arrest may have their license suspended for one year. Keep in mind, the administrative license suspensions are separate from drunk driving penalties that you might face if you are CONVICTED of drunk driving.
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