Washington, DC DUI and DWI charges involve both a criminal case at the Traffic Division of the DC Superior Court and an administrative hearing at the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The court case will determine if you are convicted of the drunk driving charge on which you were arrested, and any potential punishment such as jail, fines, community service, etc. The DMV hearing will determine whether you lose your license, are required to get high-risk insurance (SR-22), and any fines.
In Washington, DC, if a driver with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 grams or more is found to be operating a motor vehicle, they can be charged Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). DC Code Section 50-2201.05(b) provides that for a first offense, the defendant can be sentenced to a fine of $300 and a maximum of 90 days in jail. If the defendant had a BAC of 0.20 grams or higher, there is a mandatory minimum of five days in jail. If the defendant’s BAC was higher than 0.25 grams, there is an additional 10 days of mandatory jail time.
The Washington, DC Code and city regulations allow the police to set up drunk driving checkpoints within the District of Columbia. A DUI checkpoint is when the police will set up a roadblock and randomly stop cars to perform a sobriety check on the driver. In Washington, DC, the DUI checkpoints are usually set up in locations and at times when there a likely to be a greater number of drunk drivers on the roads, such as just after the bars and nightclubs close.