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Traffic offenses such as a DUI and DWI in Washington DC occur when drivers operate their motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Severe DUI penalties are placed against driving records when drivers break drunk driving laws. Consequences include driver’s license revocation, traffic fines and jail time.

Drivers who are charged with a DUI are encouraged to hire a defense attorney in order to minimize their penalties or sentence. Find out more DC DUI information by reading the sections below.

DUI Citations and Convictions in Washington DC

A DWI ticket is issued to drivers who are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other intoxicants. Drivers with a DUI citation will face conviction of charges when a judge decides that they are guilty of the charges. A DUI violation in DC may be considered a felony or misdemeanor, making it a criminal offense due to the danger it poses to public safety.

Washington DC Under the Influence Violations and Penalties

Committing DC DUI and DWI offenses may result in severe penalties. The severity of the consequences depends on the driver’s age, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level and on the number of prior offenses on a motorist’ driving record.

First DUI Offense

Committing your first DUI in Washington DC will mean sustaining severe penalties against your driving record. Your driver’s license will be revoked for a period of at least 6 months and you may be required to pay a driving fine of $1,000.

In addition to these DUI consequences, drivers may also be sentenced to a mandatory amount of time in jail, which may vary depending on the breath or blood alcohol concentration (BrAC/BAC) or urine alcohol content (UAC) level in the motorist’s body. Drivers will receive no jail sentence if their BrAC/BAC level is under 0.20 percent and their UAC level is below 0.25 percent.

However, a first DUI offense will require you to serve a mandatory jail sentence of 10 to 20 days if your BrAC/BAC level ranges from 0.20 to 0.30 percent, and your UAC level ranges from 0.25 to 0.39 percent. Therefore, you can prevent severe DUI charges in Washington DC by avoiding large amounts of alcohol before driving.

Second DUI Offense

A second DUI in Washington DC bring even harsher penalties than those for a first offense. Drivers will have their driver’s license revoked and given a prison sentence for a period of 1 year and may be required to pay a traffic fine of $2,500 to $5,000. In addition, the penalties include a mandatory minimum jail sentence from 10 to 35 days, depending on the BrAC/BAC and UAC level in the motorist’s body.

Third DUI Offense

Drivers who commit a third DUI in Washington DC will get a driver’s license revocation of 2 years, a prison sentence for a period of 1 year and a driving fine ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. The mandatory jail time may range 12 to 45 days, depending on the results of the BrAC/BAC and UAC tests.

Fourth or Subsequent DUI Offense

Committing a fourth or a subsequent DUI offense in Washington DC will incur the most severe penalties. Offenders will be sentenced to a minimum 1 year in prison and may be required to pay a traffic fine from $2,500 to $10,000.

Drinking and Driving in Washington DC

Offenses caused by impaired driving in Washington DC may come as a result of using alcohol and/or other intoxicants which reduce the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle. Both alcohol and drugs are considered strong intoxicants that can prevent the driver from making safe decisions on the road.

Moreover, intoxicated driving may lead to vehicular manslaughter, which may bring even more serious criminal charges. In these situations, hiring a DC DUI defense attorney is highly recommended in order to avoid harsh sentences and to minimize the imposed charges.

Washington DC DUI Attorneys

Drivers who are charged with a DUI are encouraged to hire a defense lawyer in order to minimize their penalties. Hiring an experienced legal representative such as a DUI defense attorney is a necessary step when drivers want to reduce their sentence or penalties.

In order to choose the best DUI lawyer in Washington DC, drivers are recommended to conduct background checks for several professionals. Hiring a good attorney can provide the best possible outcome for a court case.

Open Container Laws in Washington DC

Under Washington DC DUI laws, drivers are prohibited from possessing or drinking from an open alcoholic beverage container while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers will be charged with a DUI or DWI for breaking the Open Container Law and will face high driving fines and a maximum jail time of 60 days.

Reinstating a Suspended Driver’s License in Washington DC

Drivers who face a DC DUI drivers license suspension or revocation may reinstate their privileges by satisfying a set of requirements, which may vary, depending on the traffic offense committed.

Reinstating a suspended license may require retaking driving and written exams, applying for a driving permit and submitting required documentation. To find out whether you may have drunk driving charges dismissed by enrolling in a traffic school course, contact the district Department of Motor Vehicles.

Washington DC Alcohol Awareness Classes

DUI classes for traffic offenders are available at a traffic school program, which in Washington DC is known as Traffic Alcohol Program (TAP). This course will help motorists learn the negative consequences that come from drunk driving and how to continue driving safely. The length of the DC DUI course may vary depending on the type and severity of the offense committed.

SR-22 Insurance in Washington DC

Washington DC auto insurance for DUI offenders is better known as SR-22 insurance. SR-22 is a liability statement which certifies that the high-risk drivers are in compliance with state laws.

Drivers with a DUI who have a driver’s license revocation or suspension may need to file and maintain SR-22 insurance after DUI in order to reinstate their driving privileges or to be eligible for an ignition interlock device program.

Washington DC Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI

The DC DUI laws determine the amount of alcohol that is permissible in a driver’s body when operating a motor vehicle. Under the Zero Tolerance for Youth, drivers younger than 21 years of age are prohibited from driving under the influence of any amount of alcohol.

Minors who disobey this law will be charged with DUI, will be required to pay a civil fine of $300 to $1,000 and will have their driving privileges suspended for 90 days.

In addition, the Implied Consent Law requires drivers to submit to a breath or blood alcohol content (BrAC/BAC) test when requested by a law enforcement official. Refusing to submit to the test may result in a driver’s license revocation. Moreover, drivers will receive harsh DUI penalties for failing the BrAC/BAC test, which will depend on the number of prior offenses committed.

Washington DC Hardship License

Drivers with a DC DUI suspended license or a revoked credential may be able to apply for a hardship license while waiting for the suspension or revocation period to be over.

The hardship credential in Washington DC is called a limited occupational license and may be available to motorists who need to operate a motor vehicle in order to continue maintain their life necessities. Drivers charged with a DUI who want to obtain a limited occupational license must submit a letter from their employer displaying the company letterhead to the DC DMV.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 12 2019.

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