Washington, D.C., also known as the District of Columbia, is not considered a part of any US state, nor is it a state on its own. Instead, it is a federal district and exclusively under the jurisdiction of the US Congress. As such, the city has its own DUI laws, penalties, and restrictions.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is the term for anyone found with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, while Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is reserved for those found driving with a limit of .07 percent BAC or lower. Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is a zero-tolerance law, and anyone found attempting to operate a vehicle with a BAC of .02 risks being charged with this offense. Anyone convicted of OWI, DWI or DUI faces a variety of penalties, including fines and license revocation.
The District of Columbia is dedicated to preventing car crashes and traffic fatalities. The Vision Zero program was launched in 2015, with a goal of zero fatalities on DC streets. While the mandatory ignition interlock program is not part of Vision Zero, it does help support the goal of keeping streets safer for everyone. Offenders found guilty of an alcohol-based driving offense are required to participate in the District’s mandatory IID program. Some offenders may be able to regain driving privileges during the license revocation period.
Washington, D.C. has a variety of penalties for drunk driving, including fines and license revocation. The penalties may increase depending on the circumstances of the incident.
Minimum mandatory jail sentences are implemented for offenders depending on their BAC level during the offense. Refusing a test will get offenders 10-45 days in jail, a BAC of .20 will earn offenders 10-35 days in jail, and .30 BAC will earn them 20 to 45 days. The mandatory jail time increases depending on the number of prior offenses.
Washington, D.C. has a mandatory interlock program that allows eligible offenders to regain driving privileges during the license revocation period. To qualify, offenders will need to meet the following criteria:
Eligible drivers are able to regain driving privileges by installing an ignition interlock device approved by the District. ADS is an approved provider, and has one location within Washington, D.C., and nearly a hundred more throughout the state of Maryland. ADS devices are easy to use and feature bilingual prompts in English and Spanish.
Offenders are required to cover the cost of installation and leasing of the ignition interlock device. The devices cost between $100 and $150 to install, and $2.50 to $3.50 per day to lease. If you are unable to afford the interlock costs, there may be financial assistance available. Check with the court and your attorney to determine if you qualify for financial aid.
ADS has a vast partner network with more than 5,500 locations nationwide. There is one location within the District of Columbia itself, and nearly a hundred more throughout the state of Maryland. This should make it easy to find one near you. When you are ready, we can help you make your appointment for installation. At the appointment, technicians will show you how to operate the interlock device and ensure you understand how it works. They will also provide the certificate of installation, which may be required to regain driving privileges.