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DUI vs. DWI: What's the Difference in Washington, DC and why the Police are Wrong.

Posted by Sheridan England | Oct 20, 2022 | 0 Comments

Ever have an argument with someone who says "it's called DUI not DWI" or vice versa? or what is a DWI vs DUI?

We have.  And we don't argue about it because in Washington, DC it doesn't matter.

In Washington, DC, the law you wanna know is DC Code § 50–2206.11.  As of today's date, this is what it says:

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or a drug.

No person shall operate or be in physical control of any vehicle in the District:

(1) While the person is intoxicated; or

(2) While the person is under the influence of alcohol or any drug or any combination thereof.


Ok, so it's Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, right?  


Except that the Metropolitan Police Department says iyou can be charged with both, and we think they're wrong:

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

DWI applies to a person having a statutorily prohibited blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. (The District of Columbia adopeted the .08 percent BAC standard for Driving While Intoxicated in April 1999.) The suspect can be convicted in court based solely on the breath, blood or urine results without any structured field sobriety test.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

 DUI applies to a person having a blood alcohol concentration of .07 percent or lower. Under DC Code, a driver can be charged with a DUI offense if, in addition to a BAC reading, the officer has other signs of impairment from a structured field sobriety test and from observations of the suspect's driving behavior.


So yeah, we're not sure why the MPD is pushing out this information, but we're happy to argue with them about it.  Yes, we did say above that we don't argue about these things because they don't matter, but they certainly matter when the police are accusing you of a crime that doesn't exist.

If you're facing a DUI (or DWI or whatever anybody wants to call it) in Washington, DC then give us a call today.

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