< D.C. Criminal Law

D.C. DUI Attorneys

Washington DC DUI laws, including § 50-2205.02, § 50-2205.03, § 50-1905, and similar sections of the DC law code, undergo periodic updates to reflect legislative changes in the District of Columbia. Familiarizing yourself with these laws is crucial, especially if you have been charged with a DUI offense, as they will directly impact your rights and potential penalties. By reviewing the updated codes, you can gain insight into the specific violations that may be applicable to your case. It is also essential to consult with a knowledgeable Washington DC DUI lawyer, who can provide guidance on how the revised codes and laws differ from their previous versions.

Defining Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

If you are 21 years of age or older, it is prohibited by law to operate any motor vehicle when your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is .08 or higher. This restriction applies to various types of vehicles, including personal vehicles, work vehicles, and small vehicles like mopeds. It is important to note that even if your BAC is below 0.08, you can still be charged with Driving Under the Influence, although intoxication is not presumed.

For individuals under the age of 21, the possession and consumption of alcohol are strictly prohibited by law. According to D.C. Code § 50-2206.01, if you are under 21 years old, any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood, breath, or urine is considered to render you “intoxicated.”

Operating or being in control of a commercial vehicle in Washington DC while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. If you are in control of a commercial vehicle, it is unlawful to have a BAC of 0.04 or higher. Similarly, commercial drivers under the age of 21 are not permitted to have any alcohol in their system.

First DUI Offense

An experienced attorney in Washington, DC can provide valuable guidance on the potential penalties you may face following a DUI arrest. These penalties are influenced by the number of previous similar or related offenses you have been convicted of.

Upon your initial DUI charge, you may be subject to both fines and potential jail time. However, the maximum fine is set at $1,000, and the maximum jail term is 180 days. This applies to cases where the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) exceeds the legal limit but remains below 0.20. If your BAC measures over 0.20 on a breathalyzer test or 0.25 through a urine sample, a mandatory jail term of 10 days will be imposed. For BAC levels exceeding 0.25 or 0.32 (breath and urine samples, respectively), the mandatory jail term increases to 15 days. Additionally, if the BAC reaches over 0.30 (breath) or 0.39 (urine), the term is further extended by five days, totaling 20 days. It’s important to note that regardless of the potential maximum jail term of 180 days, the mandatory sentence must be served, even for a first offense.

Further Offenses for Drunk Driving

If you are working with a lawyer after being charged with a second offense DUI in Washington, DC, it is important to understand the potential penalties you may face. For a second offense, the fine can range between $2,500 and $5,000. While many second offenders receive the minimum fine of $2,500, it is more common for them to receive the maximum amount compared to first-time offenders. Additionally, a second offense carries a maximum jail term of one year, with a mandatory minimum term of 10 days.

Subsequent offenses will result in even stricter penalties. If you are facing a third offense, your attorney will inform you that you could face a potential fine of $10,000 and a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 days in Washington, DC, as stated in § 50-2206.13. The maximum prison sentence for a third offense can extend up to one year. Any offenses beyond the third will carry an additional mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days. The more offenses you have on your record, the greater the likelihood of receiving the maximum penalties for both fines and jail terms.

Refusing a Breathalyzer

Failure to submit to a breath or urine test carries additional consequences under the Implied Consent Act. Regardless of whether you are ultimately found guilty of DUI, the local DMV has the authority to revoke your license for a period of 1 year. Moreover, prosecutors can utilize evidence such as your performance on field sobriety tests as a means to secure a conviction.

How We Can Help

It is crucial to seek legal representation regardless of the number of offenses you have committed in order to mitigate potential penalties. A skilled DUI lawyer in Washington DC can review your case and guide you on your options, whether it’s pleading or contesting the charges. Reach out to a knowledgeable attorney today to ensure you have the expertise you need by your side.