How a DC DUI Conviction Can Impact Your Driving Ability

Updated on April 16th, 2024 at 08:56 pm

The three most common criminal driving offenses in the United States are speeding, failure to stop at a red light, and failure to signal. One offense that marks one of the top ten is driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 1.5 million people, or 1 out of every 121 drivers, were arrested in the United States for driving under the influence.

A criminal charge of DUI is not limited to alcohol; an individual can be under the influence of any type of drug that potentially impairs judgment and driving ability, even if it is legally prescribed. Being charged with a DUI or driving while intoxicated (DWI) can have serious consequences on every aspect of an individual’s life.

Consequences of DC DUI

A DUI can have a major impact on your driving ability. Short-term consequences can include the temporary suspension of your commercial driver’s license and driving privilege, financial penalties, and higher insurance premiums. Major ramifications of a DUI charge can be days in jail, court-mandated community service, and participation in drunk driving education programs, all of which impact your schedule and impose a financial burden.

A first offense could impose consequences of fines up to $1,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 180 days or 6 months in jail. The average cost of a DC DUI is $10,000.

For a first-time DUI conviction, an offender’s driver’s license is suspended for six months, and they receive 12 points on their record.

However, there are ways to alleviate the harsh penalties.

What is the Interlock System?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breath alcohol analyzer that connects to the ignition system of a vehicle to ensure that the driver’s breath alcohol level does not exceed the accepted level set. If the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) has a presence of alcohol that is over a mandated level, the car will not be able to start.

Additionally, the driver will be prompted to check their blood alcohol concentration at various times throughout the drive to ensure that they remain safe to drive and free from any impairment caused by alcohol or drugs.

In the District of Columbia (Washington, DC), the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) allows individuals charged with a DUI for their first or subsequent traffic violation and alcohol-related offenses to participate in the IID Program. Participation in the program allows the offender to get a restricted Washington, DC Department of Motor Vehicle driver’s license and drive in vehicles with the IID installed, although the restrictions and conditions on their driver’s license will not be alleviated for the entire period of license revocation.

How Does a DUI Change Your Insurance?

Being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will significantly impact your car insurance rate in almost every situation; on average, a DUI raises the rate by $1,625 per year or 72%. Insurance companies consider a DUI a major infraction, and most will have a substantial rate increase for three to five years, on average.

Washington, DC, requires that all drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence, as well as other high-risk traffic violations like reckless driving, file an SR-22 insurance form. An SR-22 insurance is a formal document of financial responsibility that your insurance company files with your state to prove that you have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum liability coverage requirements. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, you may be required to retain the SR-22 for up to three years.

What Are the Long-Term Consequences of a DUI?

In addition to the standard commercial driver’s license revocation, a DUI conviction can impact your criminal record and ability to get to work and other activities if you lose the ability to drive. Secondly, a DUI will show up on a background check. A DUI conviction could impede any attempts to secure a job with future employers. Many financial decisions, such as loans for housing, school, and financial aid applications, could also be jeopardized.

If you are currently employed, a DUI arrest and subsequent conviction on your driving record could impact your vocation. Mandatory court requirements, such as future court dates, potential days in jail, mandated community service, or other programs, can put your job at risk with an unpredictable schedule spanning from weeks to months to years.

A security clearance could be greatly impacted by a conviction on your driving record. In addition, your social and professional relationships will be put to the test; despite efforts to hide your arrest, it may be publicized by the local media and could permanently stain your reputation or ruin a relationship.

Contact Professional Defense Attorneys

A DUI conviction on your driving record can have long-standing effects on every piece of your life, not just your driving privilege. If you are arrested for DUI in Washington, DC, or Maryland, contact a criminal defense lawyer from Bruckheim & Patel for a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys at (202) 930-3464.

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