Washington DC DUI Laws & Penalties

DC DUI can be proved with more than just a test for blood alcohol content. The blood alcohol level that is considered DUI is .08 or greater. If you are found to be driving in a hazardous manner, you can be convicted of a District of Columbia (DC) DUI. Also, if you fail a field sobriety test you can be arrested.

You can even be cited for DUI in the District of Columbia if your physical appearance shows that you are under the influence of alcohol. If arrested for one of the circumstantial indications of DUI, you will be asked to submit to a blood or breath test. If you do not submit to it, the court will assume that you are guilty, and you will also lose your license for up to a year. 



DC First Time Offenders

In a District of Columbia DUI case, first time offenders can choose to take a DUI diversion program, in lieu of other punishments. However, in order to be considered a first offender in the District of Columbia, you cannot have any other DUIs in your history looking back fifteen years, no matter what state you were in. It is also important to talk to a lawyer before taking this option. There may be a different way to deal with your District of Columbia DUI. 

District of Columbia: Court and DMV Implications of DUI

If you are arrested for District of Columbia DUI, you can expect to face both a court case and a case in the DMV. In the court case, you will be prosecuted for the crime of DUI. Your punishment will be directly related to the severity of your crime, including whether or not anyone else was hurt or killed due to your driving under the influence. Be sure to talk to alawyer before heading to court. 

The court can suspend your license from anywhere between six months to two years, depending on how often you have been cited for DUI. You can also expect to pay a fine between $300 and $10,000. Also, the court can send you for jail up to 25 days. Also, if your crime is considered severe enough, you may be required to have an ignition interlock system put on your car, which will not allow the car to be started if you are drunk. 

Finally, after your court case, you will also face an administrative hearing. At this hearing, you can have additional time taken off of your driving privileges. You will also face additional fines. Remember, too, that yourinsurance premium is going to increase significantly after your District of Columbia DUI. 

Disctrict of Columbia First Offense DUI

  • Up to $300 in fines
  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Drivers license revocation for 90 days

Disctrict of Columbia Second Offense DUI

  • Between $1,000 and $5,000 in fines
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Possible 30 days or more of community service
  • Drivers license revocation for 1 year

District of Columbia Third or Subsequent Offense DUI

  • Fines between $2,000 and $10,000
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Possible 60 days of community service
  • Drivers license revocation for 2 years

Disctrict of Columbia First Impaired Offense

  • $200 to $300 fines
  • Maximum 30 days in jail

Disctrict of Columbia Second Impaired Offense

  • $300 to $500 fines
  • 5 days to 1 year in jail

Disctrict of Columbia Third or Subsequent Impaired Offense

  • $1,000 to $5,000 fines
  • 5 days to 1 year in jail

District of Columbia BAC Assumptions

  • Blood tests of less than .03% are not presumed, but are admissible
  • Urine tests of less than .04% are not presumed, but are admissible
  • Breath tests of less than .14 micrograms per milliliter of breath are not presumed, but are admissible
  • BAC levels of .05% or greater: Prima facie evidence of being under the influence and the driver's ability to operate a vehicle has been impaired

District of Columbia Implied Consent Laws

  • Chemical testing is allowed. Blood, breath or urine test as selected by the arresting officer
  • Officer must advise the defendant of the penalties for test refusal, the right to request the testimony of the person administering the test. Advisement that the PBT is voluntary and that the results from the PBT are not admissible in court except to establish probable cause
  • The Mayor has the authority to revoke driving privileges for driving while intoxicated
  • Test refusal will result in a 12 month license suspension

Chemical Testing

  • Chemical test results are admissible without testimony if they have been administered in accordance with the equipment manufacturer's specifications and the equipment tested accurately within the last three months
  • The defendant has the right to compel the officer or technician who performed the test to testify as to the accuracy of the results
  • Blood test: Blood draws for police testing must be administered by a licensed physician or registered nurse
  • The defendant has the right to have an independent test done by a qualified person. The cost of an independent test is the defendants responsibility

District of Columbia DUI Attorneys

DUI Arrest Help.com has compiled a list of skilled DUI defense attorneys in the District of Columbia who have agreed to offer you a free initial consultation to discuss your case.  There is no obligation to use them, and you can get some great information about what you should do in this free consultation.  

Click here to speak with one of our DC DUI lawyers.

Insurance Considerations for a DC DUI

SR-22 insurance is required in the District of Columbia after a DUI conviction.  This type of insurance is classified as 'high risk' meaning you are a higher risk to the insurance companies so consequently they will charge more for taking on more risk.  This can get very expensive if you sign up for one of these policies with the wrong company.

DUI Arrest Help.com has partnered with the largest and most trusted provider in the District of Columbia to offer you a free no obligation SR-22 insurance quote.  Not only will you save money but our partner also leads the insurance industry in customer service. 

You won't be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in DC for any less.  Type in your zip code below so we can provide the cheapest rates in your area.



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Additional DC DUI Resources

  • DC DUI First Offense -  Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DUI in DC.

  • DC SR22 Insurance -  Learn everything you need to know about DC SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your DC SR22 insurance.

  • DC DUI Lawyers -   Contact one of our DC DUI lawyers today.