Criminal Law in the District of Columbia
If you're arrested for drunk driving on DC roadways, your first call needs to be to a Washington DC DUI attorney - ASAP. The collection and analysis of evidence is essential to your defense. Plus, having a DUI defense lawyer in your corner will help protect you from saying or doing something that will hurt your case.
Here we'll explain:
- Washington DCDUI DWI Laws
- Washington DC DUI DWI Punishments
- Potential DUI DWI Defenses
- Washington DC's Other Drunk Driving and Alcohol Laws
- How to Find a Washington DC DUI DWI Defense Lawyer
When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in Washington DC?
- Washington DC drunk driving laws are found in the District of Columbia Official Code.
- For a good chart of Washington DC DUI laws click here: DC DUI laws.
Bottom line: If you are driving unsafely because you are impaired with drugs or alcohol in your system or if your BAC is above the legal limits, you will be arrested for drunk driving.
BAC stands for "Blood Alcohol Content". Here are the Washington DC BAC limits:
- BAC of .08 in over age 21 non-commercial drivers = drunk driving.
- BAC of .04 in commercial drivers = drunk driving.
- Zero Tolerance = any alcohol in system in under age 21 drivers = drunk driving.
What is Washington DC's Punishment for DUI Convictions?
The below penalties are increased if the drunk driver has a child under the age of 17 in his or her car during arrest or had a BAC of .20 or higher.
- 1st DUI Conviction: Up to90 days in jail - fines of $300 - $1,000- loss of commercial license -driver's license suspension for 6 months - ignition interlock.
- 2nd DUI Conviction within 15 years: Between 5 days and 1 year in jail or at least 30 days of community service -- fines of $1,000 to $5,000 - loss of commercial license - driver's license suspension for 1 year - ignition interlock.
- 3rd DUI Conviction within 15 years: Between 10 days and 1 year in jail or at least 60 days of community service - fines of $2,000 to $10,000 - loss of commercial license - driver's license suspension for2 years - ignition interlock.
Washington DC Drunk Driving Defenses
Your criminal defense lawyer will examine all the evidence to determine whether there is cause to have the criminal charges dropped, reduce the charges to a lesser offense, avoid a guilty verdict at trial, and/or minimize punishments.
Sometimes, mistakes in traffic stops, arrest, and alcohol testing mean that you are not guilty even if you had a few drinks before you drove.
Washington DC's Other Drunk Driving and Alcohol Laws
Washington DC's Dram Shop Act
An injured third person can successfully sue a licensed drinking establishment for injuries if the tavern, bar, or restaurant served an underage or visibly intoxicated person.
Criminal Penalties for Serving Underage Persons
Furnish alcohol to underage persons and jail time and fines result.
It's a crime to furnish alcohol to an underage person. You can go to jail and pay big fines. For a first conviction, you can go to jail for up to 180 days and pay a fine of up to $1,000. Subsequent convictions have stiffer penalties.
How to Find a Washington DC DUI Attorney
The best thing you can do right now is to get legal representation. To find a Washington DC DUI lawyer, search our website, www.attorneys.org, or ask friends or the bar association for a referral.