What Are the Penalties For First-Time DUI In Washington DC?

A first-time DUI Law arrest in Washington D.C. can seem like the end of the world, but in most circumstances, it will not result in more than a few days jail time, although you are subject to penalties and the suspension of your driver’s license, which can make commuting to work difficult.

In Washington D.C., there is zero tolerance for any driver under the age of 21 who has any blood alcohol content (BAC). For non-professional drivers 21 or older, the legal limit is .08 percent, and .04 percent for commercial truck drivers.

Let’s take a look at what you can expect if you are in fact convicted of a DUI for the first time.

What You Can Expect If You Are Convicted of a First Offense DUI 

When you are arrested for a first-time DUI in Washington D.C., the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is notified and will begin the process of revoking your license.

Within 10 days of your arrest, you must appear at a hearing to determine whether the DMV will suspend your license. However, this process is only the administrative side of your DUI arrest, because you will also face other penalties, including:

  • Jail Time – You can be sentenced to as many as six months in county jail, although this is uncommon except in extreme circumstances. Jail time is at a judge’s discretion, but if your BAC was .20 percent or higher, you will spend 10 to 20 days in jail.
  • Fine – $1,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension – If the DMV license suspension hearing doesn’t go your way, you will lose your license for a minimum of six months.
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installation (IID) – An IID analyzes your breath to determine if it’s under the legal limit, and then allows the engine on your car to operate. If you lose your license, you can apply to have an IID installed in your vehicle, which will give you restricted driving privileges.

It’s also important to understand that if you refuse a chemical test when a police officer pulls you over during your arrest, that the DMV will automatically suspend your license for one year.

The legal reason for this is that Washington D.C. operates under ‘implied consent,’ which means that if you drive in the District, you agree to submit to a chemical test if police pull you over.

Defending Your First DUI 

The specific circumstances of your first DUI will determine whether or not you spend time in county jail, and that’s especially true if there was a minor in your vehicle at the time of your DUI arrest, or if someone was injured in an accident caused by your impairment. That’s why you need you to hire an experienced DUI attorney to help you navigate your way through the DUI arrest process.

The McDaniel Law Group, PLLC, takes an aggressive stance to defend its DUI clients, and uses its resources to investigate every aspect of your arrest to ensure that it complied with the law. Don’t risk your future on a law firm that doesn’t have a reputation for first-rate defense. Call us today at 202-331-0793 to schedule your free consultation.

Additional Reading

Potential Misdemeanor and Felony Penalties in Washington D.C.

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Arrested in Washington D.C.