DUI or DWI laws and charges in Washington D​.​C​.​, USA

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DUI stands for ‘Driving under Influence’ while DWI stands for ‘Driving while intoxicated’. Both are recognized as serious crimes all over the world. In USA, the laws and regulations for these crimes are strict to discourage any form of driving under intoxication with senses impaired resulting in fatal accidents.A highway patrol or traffic police suspects an intoxicated driver from his erratic driving or inability to follow traffic rules. The vehicle is stopped for further investigation. Physical evidences or indications of possible intoxication are studied followed by further tests like breath analyzer.

Different states in America have their own set of rules regarding DWI or DUI penalty. In DUI versus DWI discussions, often DUI is regarded as lesser serious offense than a DWI. In DWI, the BAC of the driver is usually found to be more than the permissible limit. Thus charges or penalties imposed are greater in DWI than DUI. In Washington D.C. both DUI and DWI are however, recognized to be the same offense.
The charges in this state for the First DUI or DWI conviction are:
Potential jail stay of 90 days maximum (higher jail term for drivers who have a high BAC)

1. Fines of $300 to $1,000 are imposed
2. In case the vehicle had a minor passenger of 17 years or younger during the time of arrest then the fine of $500 to $1,000 is charged, along with mandatory 2 full days or 48 hours of community service
3. License suspension for six months
4. If a BAC of more than 0.08 or more is found, 3 months of imprisonment can happen.

The charges in this state for the Second DUI or DWI conviction are:

1. Fines of $1,000 to $5,000 are imposed.
2. A maximum of 1 year of license suspension.
3. Imprisonment of 5 days to a maximum of 1 year along with a month of community service

The charges in this state for the Third DUI or DWI conviction are:

1. A maximum fine of $2,000 to $10,000 is imposed.
2. License suspension for at least two years.
3. Imprisonment of 10 days to a maximum of 1 year along with two months of mandatory community service.

Drivers are required to cooperate with police for a breath analyzer test if found guilty of DUI or DWI offence. They can however choose a location of this test where he or she has to pay for all the costs incurred. Charges are imposed if the driver refuses to give the BAC test.

For example in case of the first BAC refusal the following penalties are imposed:

1. One year of license suspension
2. Payment of $ 200 to $ 300 fine.
3. A month jail time can also be charged.

In case the driver refuses a second BAC test, he or she is imposed with a 3 months of jail time. Drivers who refuse the third BAC test will be imposed with following penalties:

1. 1 year of jail time
2. License suspension for three years.
3. $1,000 to $5,000 of payment of fines.

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released July 9, 2016

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