Drivers charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) face jail time, fines, and license suspensions. Beyond that, an impaired driving charge stays on the driver's record for ten to 15 years, depending on jurisdiction, and this can have long-lasting negative effects. If you have been charged with DUI or DWI in Virginia, contact the defense attorneys at S.L. England, PLLC.
In Washington DC, a person can be charged with DUI if they are operating or in physical control of a vehicle while their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.07% or lower and they show other signs of impairment, such as failing field sobriety tests or reckless driving. Washington DC has zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving, so a person under age 21 can be charged with DUI if they have any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. Law enforcement will ask for blood, urine, or breath for chemical testing to determine BAC.
A driver in Washington DC can be charged with DWI if their BAC is 0.08 or greater. They can be charged based on their BAC alone, and they do not have to show any other signs of intoxication, such as failing field sobriety tests or reckless driving. The penalties are the same as for DUI, but anyone with a BAC over 0.20% must serve an extra 10 days in jail, 15 days for a BAC over 0.25%, and 20 days for a BAC over 0.30%.
Penalties for a first-time offense can result in up to 180 days in jail, fines up to $1,000, and a suspended license. Drivers must participate in field sobriety tests or they will have their licenses suspended for one year.
After a DUI or DWI in Washington, D.C., drivers will face an administrative license suspension. The driver's license may be revoked for a DUI/DWI conviction, with the loss of license period based on the driver's alcohol level and number of prior offenses. A driver can also lose their license for refusing a chemical test after a DUI arrest.
Virginia DUI and DWI
Virginia has DWI laws with progressive penalties based on the driver's BAC. Virginia drivers are charged with DWI if they have a BAC of 0.08% or higher. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor with fines up to $250 and a one-year license suspension. Jail time is not mandatory unless the driver's BAC is over 0.15% (five days) or 0.20% (ten days).
You do not have to plead guilty just because the prosecutor makes it seem like it is your only option. Talk to an experienced DUI defense lawyer about how to fight criminal charges, including challenging the basis of the stop and challenging the chemical test results.
Aggressive Legal Representation
DUI and DWI charges are serious offenses in Virginia and Washington, D.C., and they can affect your life for many years following the charge. An aggressive defense attorney from S.L. England, PLLC, understands how to challenge the charge to protect your rights and your freedom, and will build the strongest defense on your behalf. Call (202) 572-1020 or contact us online today.