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Washington, DC DUI Lawyer

The District of Columbia has three separate charges related to “drunk driving” or driving after consuming other inebriating substances: Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and Operating While Impaired (OWI).  To be charged with a DWI, a driver must be operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater.  Because a person only has to be “in physical control” of a motor vehicle, a person could be charged with DWI even though that person was simply sitting in a parked car with the ignition on.  A police officer can test a person’s blood alcohol concentration by conducting two chemical tests (breath, urine, blood, or a combination of two different types of tests) on a suspected drunk driver. A person is considered “per se” intoxicated if their BAC is .08 or above.  This means that you can be charged with and convicted of DWI even though your actual driving was not affected by your alcohol consumption.  The government is not required to prove that the person’s driving was actually impaired in order to prove you are guilty of DWI.  Due to Washington, DC’s implied consent law, a driver who is suspected of “drunk driving” and who refuses to take any chemical tests may be still be charged with a crime and may have his or her licensed revoked for up to one year.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a criminal charge in Washington, DC that can potentially carry a wide variety of penalties. Any driver in Washington, DC who has been charged with a DUI should consider hiring an experienced Washington, DC DUI lawyer to help defend against this charge.

A driver in Washington, DC can be charged with a DUI if police allege that he or she was operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle while his or her ability to operate or control the vehicle was impaired due to the consumption of alcohol or drugs. To determine whether someone should be arrested for DUI, police officers will consider many factors, such as an individual’s speech patterns, whether that person has bloodshot, watery eyes, and his or her performance on Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. Police may attempt to measure a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) by testing the person’s blood, breath or urine during a DUI investigation.  If a driver refuses to take the offered chemical tests, he or she may be subjected to an automatic one-year license revocation, and may be limited in the plea offers available. DC Criminal Code § 50-2206.13.

A first time conviction for Driving Under the Influence carries a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, as per DC Criminal Code § 50-2206.13.  Beyond what the court sentences, a DUI conviction can carry various other consequences, including restricted travel to foreign countries, loss of auto and life insurance, and even the loss of a job.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a criminal charge that carries consequences which reach beyond the DMV. If you have been charged with DWI in Washington, DC, you should consider contacting a Washington, DC DWI lawyer who will zealously protect your rights.

A first-time DC DWI offender can face a maximum $1,000 fine and/or a maximum sentence of 180 days’  incarceration.  A driver with a BAC of .20-.25 can be imprisoned for a mandatory minimum of 10 days. If a driver’s BAC is .25-.30, he or she faces a mandatory minimum of 15 days of incarceration. If the driver’s BAC is above .30, he or she faces a mandatory minimum of 20 days of incarceration. DC Criminal Code § 50-1905.

In addition to the court-ordered fines and jail sentences, a DWI conviction can lead to the revocation of a person’s driver’s license, increased auto insurance premiums, decreased credit ratings, travel restrictions, and various other costs.

A person may also be charged with Operating While Impaired (OWI) in Washington, DC. Any driver in Washington, DC who has been charged with OWI should consider hiring an experienced Washington DC OWI lawyer to help them defend against this charge.

According to DC’s OWI law, a person must not operate or be in physical control of any vehicle in the District while that person’s ability to operate or be in physical control of a vehicle is impaired by the consumption of alcohol or any drug or any combination thereof. A person convicted of this crime for the first time may be fined $500, or incarcerated for not more than 90 days, or both. DC Criminal Code § 50-2206.15.

We can provide you with a comprehensive overview of the legal standards related to DWI, DUI and OWI charges, as well as more information on the DMV hearings that accompany the criminal charges. We can also assist you in other legal matters related to alcohol charges, such as underage drinking and fake ID charges.  Contact our Washington, DC offices and see how our expertise in this area of the law can work to protect your future.

We are devoted to represent, defend, and assist you in resolving any issues pertaining to DWI, DUI, and OWI charges with the least amount of cost and delay to you. Please visit or contact our attorneys in Washington, DC for free consultation and information.