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.
District of Columbia DUI Resources
- District of Columbia DUI Statutes: Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol (DC Code section 50-2205.02).
- Penalties for Drinking and Driving - Summary of sentences and penalties for DWI (D.C. Metropolitan Police Dept.).
- Ignition Interlock Program - Overview of Washington, D.C.'s ignition interlock device program (D.C. DMV).
- Driver's License Reinstatement - How to reinstate your driver's license after a suspension (D.C. DMV).
- Watch Your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content): Decide Before You Drive - Overview of how blood alcohol content (BAC) is measured, how alcohol levels rise and fall over time, and other information to help you avoid a DUI (D.C. Police Dept.).
- Sober Ride Program - Seasonal sober ride program, which provides up to 30 miles worth of cab fare to get home safely (Washington Regional Alcohol Program).
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.