November 21, 2017
The District of Columbia takes DUI charges very seriously. According to research, more than 20% of traffic fatalities involve a BAC or blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit of .08%. As you can see, drunk driving kills. It is not surprising that laws and penalties for this offense are strict in most states, including Washington. Each time an intoxicated individual gets behind the wheel, he or she puts at risk not only their life, but also the lives of everyone else they will encounter while on the road, including both passengers and drivers of other vehicles, and pedestrians.
If you are going out on social occasions where alcohol will be involved, you should appoint a designated driver who will return you home after the night is over. If it is not possible, you should simply call a cab. Taking a cab home if you have had too much to drink is a wise idea. It will help you prevent trouble and possible DUI penalties. Also, that way, you won’t have to worry about putting the lives of other people at risk.
Unfortunately, many people decide to drive themselves home after consuming alcohol. This mistake can lead to lives being ruined. If you are charged with drunk driving, it can impact your future. For example, you will have problems later, when trying to find a new job or an apartment for rent. Most landlords prefer choosing tenants with clean criminal records. You have the best chances of avoiding something like this if you get in touch with DUI lawyers in DC. Find them here.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
When it comes to punishing people who drink and drive, The District of Columbia doesn’t mess around. Penalties for drunk driving are expensive and stiff. For example, first-time offenders are required to pay fines of up to $2,000 and may be sentenced to spend up to 180 days imprisoned. If their blood alcohol content is between .20 and .25, they will encounter a mandatory 10-day jail sentence. If their BAC is between .25 and .30, they will have to spend obligatory 15 days in jail. Finally, people with BAC above .30 will have to spend 20 days in jail.
People who have been charged with driving under the influence for the second time within the last fifteen years will face a fine of $2,500 to $5,000. Also, they may be imprisoned for between 10 days and one year. Two prior DUI convictions carry a fine of between $2,500 and $10,000, and jail imprisonment time between mandatory 12 days, and a maximum of one year. There are also additional penalties if impaired drivers are transporting a minor in the vehicle. Penalties for this situation include fines of $500 to $1,000, and mandatory imprisonment of 5 days if the minor was wearing a seatbelt, and 10 days if the minor wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.
When it comes to impaired drivers under the age of 21, they will be charged if they have any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. Washington DC has a “zero tolerance” law for drunk drivers under 21 years old.