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DC DUI Law

Legal Limits

  • Driving While Intoxicated: D.C. has two different standards for DWI testing.  If the test administered is a urine test, the legal limit is .10.  However, if the test administered is a blood or breath test, the legal limit is .08.  The arresting officer decides which test to administer.
  • Under 21: If you are under 21 in D.C. and have any detectable amount of alcohol in your breath, blood, or urine you will be arrested for DWI. 

Implied Consent:

Anyone operating a motor vehicle within the District of Columbia is presumed to have consented to having their Blood Alcohol Content tested by two of the following tests: blood, urine, or breath.

Penalty for Test Refusal

If, after being informed of the consequences, the driver still refuses to submit to one of the BAC tests, his license shall be revoked for 12 months.  This penalty requires a sworn statement by the officer that he had reasonable grounds to believe that the driver would have tested greater than .08.  Test refusal is also admissible as evidence in court.

Penalties

First Offense:

  • $300 fine
  • BAC over .20: 5 days of jail time
  • BAC over .25: 10 days of jail time

Second Offense Within 15 Years

  • $1,000 - 5,000 fine, 5 days of jail time, at least 30 days of community service
  • BAC over .20: 10 days of jail time
  • BAC over .25: 20 days of jail time

Third and Subsequent Offenses Within 15 Years

  • $2,000 – 10,000 fine, 10 days of jail time, at least 60 days of community service
  • BAC over .20:15 days of jail time
  • BAC over .25: 25 days of jail time

Other Penalties

  • Vehicle registration of DWI offenders is suspended for one year
  • $100 fine paid to the victim’s compensation fund

Added Discretionary Penalties:

  • Home confinement, electronic monitoring, and in home BAC testing
  • Victim impact panel