DUI Defense

Washington, D.C. DUI Lawyers

Representing Drivers Arrested for DUI in D.C. & Maryland

The District of Columbia and all states in the U.S. have laws that make it illegal to drive while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In most states, how you are charged and the penalties you will face will depend on the circumstances of the case and your prior convictions, if any. 

DUI cases are complicated due to the overlapping technical, legal, and medical aspects. Understanding the procedures followed in breath or blood tests, interpreting the results, understanding the implications of field sobriety tests, and knowing the medical conditions that could affect these tests add layers of complexity to these cases. 

You will need an attorney who is experienced in investigating and uncovering all the factors involved in your case to give you the best chance of a favorable result. At Wagner, PLLC, our criminal defense team is here to provide you with the experienced and skilled defense you need when combatting the severe consequences of a DUI conviction. 

Book a free 15-minute case review with a Washington, D.C., DUI attorney by contacting us online or at (202) 816-7125

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    DUI in Washington, D.C.

    DUI in D.C. is governed by D.C. Code § 50–2206

    In D.C., you can be charged with the following: 

    • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (DUI)
    • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
    • Operating while impaired (OWI)

    All the above can be charged while physically controlling your vehicle; this does not mean your car must have been moving down the roadway. “Under the influence” is based on evidence that shows you could not exercise explicit control or judgment while driving due to your ingestion of alcohol and/or drugs. 

    “Intoxication” is also proven by evidence that you lacked apparent control or judgment in operating your vehicle due to having ingested alcohol and/or drugs. Two ways exist in which the prosecution can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs while operating a motor vehicle. The first is by proving, through chemical tests, that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.8 percent or over. The second is establishing that your alcohol/drug intake impaired you to a degree that could be noticed or perceived.

    For commercial vehicle drivers, the legal BAC limit is .04 percent; for those under 21, you can be charged with any amount of alcohol found in your system. 

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    DUI Penalties in D.C.

    Penalties will depend on prior convictions within the last 15 years and the level of your BAC at the time of the offense. Those with a BAC of .20 percent, .25 percent, or .30 percent will face additional jail time. Also, drivers who test positive for serious street drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, will face additional jail time. 

    • First offense: Jail time of up to 180 days, fines of up to $1,000, and a suspended license. Drivers must participate in chemical tests, or they will have their licenses suspended for one year. This can involve installing an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle for six months. 
    • Second offense. Jail time of 10 days up to a year and fines ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. You must also do an alcohol or drug evaluation and complete any recommended treatment. An IID in your vehicle will be required for one year. 
    • Third offense. 15 days up to a year in jail and fines of $2,500 up to $10,000. An IID will be required for two years.

    Drivers found driving while under the influence with a minor passenger will face a mandatory five days of jail time and an additional fine of $500 up to $1,000. 

    Drivers who refuse to take a chemical test when requested to do so by law enforcement will also face additional license-related penalties. 

    OWI Convictions in Washington, D.C.

    OWI generally results in less serious penalties. For example, a first OWI involves jail time of up to 90 days with fines of up to $ 500. 

    DUI Charges in Maryland

    Like D.C., Maryland also has stringent laws concerning drunk driving. The two main charges are DUI and DWI. A DUI is issued when a driver's BAC is 0.08% or higher, while a DWI is issued when a driver's BAC is above 0.07% but less than 0.08%.

    Penalties in Maryland vary based on the offense and the number of previous convictions. They can range from hefty fines, license suspension, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device to potential jail time.

    Collateral Damages of DUI Convictions

    A DUI conviction doesn't just result in legal penalties. It can severely impact your personal and professional life. From damaging your reputation, straining family relationships, leading to job loss, or even causing difficulties in finding future employment, the collateral damages are substantial and long-lasting.

    Why You Need Skilled Legal Representation

    Navigating the intricacies of DUI charges requires a lawyer skilled in all aspects of DUI cases. At Wagner, PLLC, our experienced attorneys understand the technicalities of breath and blood tests, the legal procedures involved, and all the potential considerations that can affect your case.

    Every case is unique. That's why we provide personalized strategies to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. Don't navigate this challenging time alone. Trust the experience and proven results of Wagner, PLLC. 

    Call (202) 816-7125 today for a consultation.

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