First Offense DUI in Washington, District of Columbia

A first DUI in Washington, District of Columbia, results in both criminal and administrative penalties for first-time offenders possessing a valid, private operator’s license. Minors, commercial drivers, and zero-tolerance violators face different penalties than those noted below.

Administrative Penalties

A first offense DUI in Washington, D.C., results in an administrative license suspension of at least 90 days. Refusals to submit under implied consent laws in Washington, D.C., result in mandatory administrative license suspension of 1 year. To have a license reinstated after whatever period of suspension applies in a given case, a first offender does not have to participate in an ignition interlock device program.

Criminal Penalties

How Much Will it Cost?

To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.

A first offense DUI conviction in Washington, D.C., carries no minimum mandatory period of incarceration for offenders, but offenders do face potential incarceration up to 90 days. In limited instances, offenders with BAC (blood alcohol concentration) above .20 face minimum incarceration periods of 10 days; above .25, a minimum of 15 days; and above .30, a minimum of 20 days.

Fines range on a case-by-case basis, with minimum amounts set at $300 and maximum amounts applicable up to only $1000. However, fine amounts do not cover costs associated with completion of other terms of the sentence, which include prolonged participation in a relatively expensive diversion program. First offense convictions remain relevant for determining sentencing for future DUI offenses for a 15-year look-back period.

Getting Legal Help

For more information and insight, a defendant should consult with a Washington, D.C., DUI lawyer about his or her legal options, which may include the case-specific ability to obtain a reduction of the DUI charge into a lesser criminal, or even a non-criminal, offense.

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