Washington, D.C. DWI, DUI and OWI Laws

An alcohol-related charge is extremely serious and can lead to loss of driving privileges, fines and even jail.  Michael Bruckheim spent years as an assistant attorney general in Washington, D.C. prosecuting alcohol-related cases.  He has extensive experience in understanding the technicalities of a DUI/DWI and will find the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.  Mr. Bruckheim is certified to administer field sobriety tests, having received the same training that is required of police officers.  Mr. Bruckheim also has completed intensive training in gas chromatography, which is the process used to analyze blood and urine samples in DUI cases. Mr. Bruckheim also has completed training on the Intoximeter EC/IR II, the breath testing machine used by the U.S. Park Police. Alcohol-related charges are highly technical in nature.  The quality of your legal counsel is the single biggest factor in whether you will successfully defend your case or if you will pay a high price.

Contact Michael Bruckheim for a free, immediate consultation at 240-753-8222.

Important Facts about D.C.’s DWI, DUI and OWI Laws:

  • A blood or breath alcohol level of 0.05 or greater, or a urine alcohol level greater than .06 creates a presumption of DUI or OWI;
  • A person operating a motor vehicle in D.C. impliedly consents to permitting a breath, blood and/or urine sample to the police if they have a reasonable suspicion to believe a DWI or DUI offense has occurred.  Refusal to submit results in a 12 month license suspension.  If an accident occurred, the suspect can not refuse to submit to blood, breath and/or urine testing.  Police can forcibly take blood, urine or breath samples;
  • Only a doctor or nurse can draw blood from a suspect.  Also, one has the right to obtain an addition blood sample for private testing.
  • A defendant who is a resident of the District of Columbia must request a hearing before the DMV within ten days of a DUI, DWI or OWI arrest. Non-residents of the District of Columbia have 15 days to request a hearing.

DWI: A person commits the offense of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08 or greater, a urine alcohol level of .10 or greater, or is under the age of 21 and has any alcohol in system (blood, breath or urine).

DUI: A person commits the offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Penalties

First Offense: A fine of up to $1000.00 and up to 180 days in jail. Mandatory 10 day jail sentence if blood/breath alcohol level is between 0.20 and 025, or if urine alcohol level is .25 or more.  Mandatory 15 day jail sentence if blood/breath alcohol level is between .26-.30 or if urine alcohol is more than .32.  Mandatory 20 day jail sentence if blood/breath alcohol level is greater than .30, or if urine alcohol level is more than .39.

If a person’s blood or urine contains a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance as listed in D.C. Code Section 48-902.04 (such as PCP, cocaine, heroin, methadone, morphine), a mandatory 15 day jail sentence shall be imposed.

Second Offense: If the second offense is within fifteen years of the first offense, a fine between $2,500 and $5,000, a maximum of one year in jail, and a mandatory jail sentence of 10 days.  In addition to the mandatory 10 day jail sentence, a mandatory 15 day jail sentence shall be imposed if blood/breath alcohol level is between 0.20 and 025, or if urine alcohol level is .25 or more.  A mandatory 20 day jail sentence shall be imposed if blood/breath alcohol level is between .26-.30 or if urine alcohol is more than .32.  A mandatory 25 day jail sentence shall be imposed if blood/breath alcohol level is greater than .30, or if urine alcohol level is more than .39.

If a person’s blood or urine contains a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance as listed in D.C. Code Section 48-902.04 (such as PCP, cocaine, heroin, methadone, morphine), an additional mandatory 20 day jail sentence shall be imposed.

Third Offense: If a person has two or more prior convictions within the previous 15 year, a fine between $2,500 and $10,000, a maximum of one year in jail, and a mandatory jail sentence of 15 days.  In addition to the mandatory 15 day jail sentence, a mandatory 20 day jail sentence shall be imposed if blood/breath alcohol level is between 0.20 and 025, or if urine alcohol level is .25 or more.  A mandatory 25 day jail sentence shall be imposed if blood/breath alcohol level is between .26-.30 or if urine alcohol is more than .32.  A mandatory 30 day jail sentence shall be imposed if blood/breath alcohol level is greater than .30, or if urine alcohol level is more than .39.

If a person’s blood or urine contains a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance as listed in D.C. Code Section 48-902.04 (such as PCP, cocaine, heroin, methadone, morphine), an additional mandatory 25 day jail sentence shall be imposed.

OWI: An offense of Operated While Impaired (OWI) if a person operates a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol.

Penalties

First Offense: A maximum fine of $500 and up to 90 days in jail.

Second Offense: If the second offense is within fifteen years of the first offense, a fine between $1000 and $2500, a maximum jail sentence of 1 year, and a mandatory jail sentence of 5 days.

Third Offense: If a person has two or more prior offenses within the past 15 years of the instant offense, a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000, a maximum jail sentence of 1 year, and a mandatory jail sentence of 10 days.

Contact us

If you have been charged with a DUI, DWI or OWI, it is urgent that you retain experienced, aggressive legal counsel immediately.  Please contact us at 240-753-8222 for a free, immediate consultation.