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District of Columbia DUI Laws

Understanding the DUI laws in the District of Columbia can help you avoid committing or getting charged with the offense in the first place. But if you do find yourself arrested for DUI, knowing your rights and legal options can make a huge difference in your outcome. Even after a first offense, you may serve up to 90 days in jail, pay fines of up to $1,000, and lose your driving privileges for six months. 

The following information will give you a general overview of Washington, D.C. DUI laws.

D.C. DUI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit 0.08 Percent
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.00 Percent
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.15 Percent
Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test? Yes

D.C. DUI Laws: Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense) 6 months, 1 year, 2 years
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment No
Vehicle Confiscation Possible? No
Ignition Interlock Device Possible? Yes

Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program

In the District of Columbia, as in most states, DUI defendants have the option of driving on a limited license with the installation of an IID. The device measures the driver's BAC with a "Breathalyzer"-like breath monitor, allowing the car to start only after a sober sample has been taken (often with follow-up samples while the car is in operation). To be eligible for the program, you must:

  • Call the Driver Services Administration at (202) 727-2200;
  • Have been convicted of DUI or some other drug- or alcohol-related offense or a revoked license for such an offense;
  • Have no additional pending suspensions or revocations;
  • Have no convictions for causing injury or death while operating a motor vehicle;
  • Have not participated in a similar program, unsuccessfully, in the past five years (any jurisdiction); 
  • Complete the application;
  • Get SR22 (high risk) insurance; and
  • Have the IID installed by an approved vendor.
Out-of-state drivers with limited, IID licenses may convert to a Washington, D.C. IID restricted license

District of Columbia DUI Resources

Staring Down a District of Columbia DUI Charge? An Attorney Can Help

While moderate alcohol consumption and driving are common activities in the U.S., combining the two and upping the alcohol intake is a recipe for tragedy. But even if no one is injured or killed, DUI defendants face stiff penalties, costly fines, and other burdensome consequences. The best way to protect your rights and get the best outcome possible is to contact an experienced Washington, D.C. DUI attorney.

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Contact a qualified DUI attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Complex DUI situations usually require a lawyer
  • DUI defense attorneys can challenge Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer or blood test results
  • A lawyer can seek to reduce or eliminate DUI penalties
  • A lawyer can help get your license back

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