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D.C. DUI Arrests Increase on St. Patrick’s Day

by | Mar 15, 2013

St. Patrick’s Day is all about the shamrock socks and green beer (or Guinness, if you prefer). But if you aren’t careful, you might find yourself among the scores of unlucky revelers arrested for DUI.

Blarney stone kisses won’t get you out of trouble. Our experienced D.C. DUI attorneys are ready to help you defend against whatever charges have been filed against you.

Throughout this upcoming weekend, extra police units will be patrolling in D.C., as well as in nearby Maryland and Virginia – the latter announcing it intends to host a series of DUI checkpoints Friday through Sunday.

Between 2006 and 2010, some 700 people were killed in DUI crashes on St. Patrick’s Day – a markedly higher-than-average figure. Many of those who were operating the vehicles involved in those crashes went on to face charges of vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, reckless operation, and the like. These kind of charges are enormously serious, potentially resulting in a sentence of life behind bars, depending on the severity of the circumstances and your prior criminal history.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as part of its “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” campaign, has launched a special St. Patrick’s Day public service announcement, warning that while everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, not everybody is a designated driver.

Penalties for a DUI in D.C. were just increased last summer. So for example, the first-time offenders who previously would have faced a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $300 fine now instead face up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. You may also be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle before you are allowed back on the road.

Beyond that, area police are going to be scouring for those attending the parade or various pub crawls for drunk and disorderly patrons. In some cases, people have been charged with indecent exposure – classified as a sex crime – for urinating on the sides of buildings or in the street.Indecent exposure under D.C. Criminal Code 22-1312 would typically be punishable by up to 3 months in jail and/or a $300 fine. However, if you knowingly did what you did in the presence of a child under the age of 16, your penalty would be upped to a maximum 1 year in jail and a possible $1,00 fine.

Regarding public intoxication, there are two statutes in D.C. that cover it. D.C. Code 25-1000 holds that it is illegal for anybody to drink alcohol or even possess an open container in any public park, street or parking lot. A violation would result in a misdemeanor charge accompanied by up to three months in jail and/or a $500 fine. Alternatively, you may be taken in under D.C. Code 24-604, which hold that if you are drunk in public, you may be transported either to your home or to a detoxification center in order to sober up. The latter is infinitely preferable.

Whatever your situation, call us today.

If you are facing DUI charges in D.C., contact the Scrofano Law, PC at 202-765-3175.