Charged With A DUI For The First Time

What Can You Expect?

If you have been charged with a DUI for the first time, chances are that you are scared, confused, and wondering how to move beyond the charges. You may also be wondering what will happen to you now that law enforcement has pressed charges of DUI against you. Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license to drive? What about fines? Are you going to pay any?

This article answers all these questions and shows you how a DUI defense attorney can help you with the case.

What happens in Washington D.C. when you get a DUI for the first time?

Washington D.C. is quite strict when it comes to DUI – even if the defendant is a first-time offender.

Washington D.C. laws promulgate three types of drunk driving. They are Driving While Impaired (DWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and Operating While Impaired (OWI).

A DWI applies when the driver is over the age of 21 and has a BAC of over 0.08%.

A DUI applies when the driver is caught operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Note that a person does not necessarily have to have a BAC of 0.08% to be convicted of a DUI in Washington D.C. Code of the District of Columbia § 50–2206.11.

An OWI applies when a person who is caught operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Also, the driver does not have have to have a BAC of 0.08. If the arresting officer sees that the driver appears to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, they may arrest the person.

Because of this, DUI cases in Washington D.C. do not rely only on blood alcohol content. They also consider the following:

  • The driver’s physical appearance,
  • The driving pattern, and
  • A field sobriety test

How many beers is .08% BAC?

People process alcohol at different rates. This rate depends on the type of drink, gender, lean mass, and the serving of the alcohol consumed. It typically takes about three drinks an hour for a woman to reach a BAC of .08% and four drinks an hour for a man to get the same level. These figures are merely an average, and specific results will depend on the person’s weight in question.

How is a first-time DUI punished in Washington D.C.?

If you are charged with a first time DUI in Washington D.C., the following penalties apply:

  • Prison sentence of not more than 180 days, or
  • Fines of $1000, or
  • Both jail time and fine

If your BAC was greater than 0.08%, the following penalties apply

  • Mandatory jail time of ten days if the BAC was over 0.20%.
  • Mandatory 15 days in jail for BAC over 0.25%
  • Mandatory 20 days for BAC over 0.30%

If a person was caught with blood or urine concentration of any Schedule I chemical or controlled substance, a 15-day mandatory-minimum jail term will apply.

Get legal help for your first time DUI offense in Washington D.C.

The DUI laws in Washington D.C. are complex, and the resolution of each case depends on the case’s specifics. If you were arrested for DUI, reach out to Attorney Jacqueline Williams today to learn more about your rights in the matter and the best course of action for you.