DC DUI Laws & Penalties

Washington DC Drunk Driving Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

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 DUI 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. 

DC First Offense DUI Penalties

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

DC Second Offense DUI Penalties

  • 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

DC 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

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

DC DUI 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

Washington DC SR22 Insurance

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. 

Additional DC DUI Resources
  • DC DUI First Offense – Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DUI in DC.
  • DC DUI Classes – Get signed up to complete your required DUI class online today.
  • 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 to discuss your pending DUI case.
  • DC Bail Bond Agents – Contact an DC bail bond agent to get out of jail now.
  • DC Non-owner Insurance – If you need an SR-22 filing, but don’t own a vehicle, you need to get a non-owner policy.