Washington, D.C. DWI Lawyers
Our nation’s capital has enacted strict DWI laws that you should know about. First, the District of Columbia enforces three different laws: DWI, DWI and underage drinking. DWI relates to a person having a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .07% or lower. A DWI applies to a person having a BAC level of .08% or higher. Under the Zero Tolerance law, anyone under age 21 cannot be found to have any alcohol in their system while driving or they will be charged with a DWI.
After a DWI arrest, you will face two separate cases: the criminal case that is prosecuted in the District of Columbia and an administrative Washington D.C. driver’s license case, which can result in the suspension of driving privileges by the Washington D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.
In Washington D.C., a DWI/DWI can be proved in two ways. One is through driving ability, failure of field sobriety tests and failure or refusal of chemical tests. The other is a violation of the “per se” law, which is having a BAC of .08% or higher.
If you are a first-time offender, you can face up to 25 days in jail. Your fees and fines can range from $300 to $10,000. The court can issue a license suspension of 6 months for a first-time offender, which can cost you your job. Other penalties may include: insurance problems, vehicle impoundment, ignition interlock system, probation, community service, alcohol treatment and restricted travel.
It is illegal to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08% or higher in Washington D.C. Police officers can measure your BAC through chemical tests (blood, breath and urine). A breath test is given by police officers because it is portable and can be conducted by them on scene. Blood and urine tests must be administered at a hospital by qualified medical personnel.
Field Sobriety Tests
If police suspect you of drinking and driving, they’ll use field sobriety tests to help determine their suspicions. These tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the one leg stand and the walk and turn. The HGN will test your eyes to see if they are involuntarily jerking. The one leg stand and the walk and turn test your balance and ability to follow instruction.
The court may install this device in your car to keep you from driving drunk. This device requires you to breathe into the machine alcohol-free, or your car will not start.
Find an Experienced Washington D.C. DWI Lawyer
While this city is full of lawyers, you must hire a lawyer who specializes in DWI defense. Only he or she will know the intricacies and complexities of this ever-changing field of law.