DC DUI Attorney

Nabeel Kibria is an experienced DUI defense attorney, providing top-quality defense throughout Washington, DC.

Call us today: (202) 689-4439

DUI & Traffic Lawyer
The District of Columbia

The District of Columbia is a “Zero Tolerance” jurisdiction when it comes to getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charges are treated possibly harsher than in any other jurisdiction in the country.  While the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08, you can test below a 0.08 BAC, at a level even as low as 0.01 BAC and still be arrested and convicted for DWI (driving while under the influence),  DUI(driving under the influence, or OWI(operating while impaired)  if the United States Attorney can prove that you were impaired.

DC DUI Attorney

DC DUI Attorney

For this reason, it is critical to hire an experienced DUI attorney who knows the DC laws to work on your case and develop a proper defense strategy.  It is important to remember that any amount of alcohol in your system can result in a DUI charge and conviction.

New District of Columbia Laws, which took effect on August 1, 2012, have increased the penalties for people convicted of driving Under the Influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), and operating while intoxicated (OWI).  One of the many new changes in the law, for example, has the penalty for first-time offenders increased  from a maximum fine of $300 and 90 days in jail to a $1,000 fine and 180 days of incarceration.

Potential Penalties For a First-Time DUI Conviction:

  • Jail Incarceration up to 180 days (length depends on the BAC level)
  • Up to $1000 Fine
  • Automatic suspension of DC driver’s license upon arrest
  • If granted a restricted license, you will be required to pay for and install an ignition interlock device
  • Significant points on your DC driver’s license

Experienced Washington, DC DUI Lawyer

When you are facing a drunk driving charge or any motor vehicle traffic offense, you need fast, accurate answers about your situation and the best way to proceed. The defense attorneys at Ervin Kibria understand your concerns and your sense of urgency in dealing with a difficult situation.

  • The consequences for DUI: Clients who reach out to us concerning a DUI arrest often share common questions. These concerns are best addressed by a lawyer experienced with DUI cases. While every case is different, clients often struggle with understanding what a DUI conviction would mean. Will there be a criminal record? Jail time? Loss of a driver’s license?  We’re hear to listen to your concerns, answer your questions to the best of our ability, and guide through the difficult legal process.
  • An aggressive defense: The consequences of a DUI charge often depend on having an experienced lawyer to represent you. At Ervin Kibria, we have the necessary experience to aggressively investigate, defend and challenge the charges.
  • We work with you: We do not treat cases as if they were a car on an assembly line. We are not a DUI mill. We are personalized. We are accessible. We are hands on. We keep our practice small so we can be completely dedicated to giving our clients the very best representation. When you hire us you have direct access to us, not a law clerk, or a paralegal, or an associate attorney.

Whether you are dealing with a DUI charge or a serious traffic offense that can put points on your driver’s license, you can depend on the defense lawyers at Ervin Kibria.

Schedule Free Consultation
  • dui defense

Nabeel Kibria, Esq.

Principal Attorney

Specializing in traffic and criminal defense in the District of Columbia, as well as immigration representation throughout Virginia, Maryland, and DC.


Penalties For Washington, DC DUI Conviction

Standard DUI Penalties For First Offense:

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence (DUI) is the most serious impaired driving offense you someone can be charged with in the District of Columbia. It is imperative to have a knowledgeable defense attorney when charged with a DUI in DC.

The DUI offense consists of  two element.  First, the government must  prove that the defendant was “operating” or in “physical control” of the vehicle.  Second, the government needs to prove that the defendant’s ability to operate or control the vehicle was impaired as a result of either drug or alcohol intoxication.  D.C. Code 50-2201.05(b).

The penalty for a first conviction of a DUI charge is a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail (all of which can be suspended).  However,it is critical to know that  if the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the defendant at the time a BAC test is administered is 0.20 grams or greater per 100 milliliters of blood, a 10 day mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment will be imposed.  If  a  BAC test results above 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of blood there is a mandatory 15-day jail term . If a BAC test results above 0.30 then a there is a mandatory 20-day jail-term.

DUI Penalties With a Prior DUI Conviction

The penalty for a second DUI conviction within a 15-year period is a $2,500 – $5,000 fine and a sentence of up to a year. Such a conviction also carries with it a minimum 10 days jail sentence that cannot be suspended.

If the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.25 grams or greater per 100 milliliters of blood during the second arrest, a minimum 15 days days of mandatory imprisonment is imposed. If a BAC test results above 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of blood there is a mandatory 20 day jail term. and a 25-day jail-term for a test result above 0.30.

The penalty for a third or subsequent conviction within a 15-year period carries a fine of $2,500-$10,000 and a mandatory 15-day period of incarceration.  If the blood alcohol concentration (BAC)  during a third or subsequent conviction is at least 0.20 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, then the defendant is subject to a 20 day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration. If a  BAC test results above 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of blood a mandatory 25 day jail term is imposed.  For a BAC  test result above 0.30.a 30-day jail-term will be imposed.

Operating While Impaired (OWI)

OWI is the simplest, and somewhat, easiest of the impaired driving or so-called “drinking and driving” offenses for the government to prove against a defendant, who is so charged. When prosecuting this particular offense, the government only needs to prove that the defendant’s ability to operate a vehicle was “noticeably impaired” by the consumption of “intoxicating liquor.”

However, the operating while impaired (OWI) offense imposes the lightest penalties out of the three impaired driving charges.  A first conviction carries a $500 fine and a maximum sentence of 90 days. D.C. Code 50-2201.05(b).

A second conviction within a 15-year time period carries a $1,000 – $2,500 fine and incarceration of up to a year, 5 days of which cannot be suspended.  A third or subsequent offense within a 15 year period carries a $1000-$5000 fine and a 10-day to one year sentence, with a mandatory minimum of 10 days.  D.C. Code 50-2201.05(b).

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

The government needs to prove two things to obtain a conviction for DWI (driving while intoxicated) in D.C.  First, it needs to prove that the defendant was “operating” or in “physical control” of the vehicle.  This does not require  that the defendant was actually driving the car.  Simply sitting at the wheel with the keys in the ignition could be enough for the court to infer operation or physical control.

Second, the government must prove that, at the time of testing, the blood alcohol concentration of the person operating the car was 0.08 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or greater.  Unlike the related offense of driving under the influence, the prosecution does not need to prove impaired driving through intoxication. D.C. Code 50-2201.05(b).

The penalty for a first conviction of DWI is a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail (all of which can be suspended depending on the judge, the prevailing circumstances and at times the efforts of a good attorney).

It is very important to note, though,  that if the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the defendant at the time of testing is 0.20 grams or higher per 100 milliliters of blood, there is a 10 day mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment.  If  a  BAC test results above 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of blood there is a mandatory 15-day jail term.  If a BAC test results above 0.30 then a there is a mandatory 20-day jail-term.

The penalty for a second conviction within a 15-year period is a $2,500 – $5,000 fine and a sentence of up to a year, with at least 10 days that CANNOT be suspended.

If the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.20 grams or greater per 100 milliliters of blood during a second arrest, a minimum 15 days days of mandatory imprisonment is imposed.  If the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results above 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of blood during a second arrest there is a mandatory 20 day jail term.  If the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above 0.30 there is a  mandatory 25-day jail-term.

The penalty for a third or subsequent conviction within a 15-year period is a fine of $2,500-$10,000 and a mandatory 15-day period of incarceration.  If the blood alcohol concentration at third or subsequent is at least 0.20 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, the defendant must serve a 20 day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration, a mandatory 25 day jail term for a test result above 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of blood and a mandatory 30-day jail-term for a test result above 0.30.

DC DUI / DWI Statute Definitions:

§ 50–2206.11. Driving under the influence 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.

§ 50–2206.13. Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, a person violating any provision of § 50‑2206.11 or § 50‑2206.12 shall upon conviction for the first offense be fined $1,000, or incarcerated for not more than 180 days, or both; provided, that:

(1) A 10-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s alcohol concentration was at least 0.20 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath, or was at least 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of urine; or

(2) A 15-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s alcohol concentration was more than 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath or 0.32 grams per 100 milliliters of urine; or

(3) A 20-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s alcohol concentration was more than 0.30 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath or 0.39 grams per 100 milliliters of urine; and

(4) A 15-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s blood or urine contains a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance as listed in § 48‑902.04, Phencyclidine, Cocaine, Methadone, Morphine, or one of its active metabolites or analogs.

(b) A person violating any provision of § 50‑2206.11 or § 50‑2206.12 when the person has a prior offense under § 50‑2206.11§ 50‑2206.12, or § 50‑2206.14 and is being sentenced on the current offense shall be fined not less than $2,500 and not more than $5,000, or incarcerated for not more than one year, or both; provided, that a 10-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed, and in addition :

(1) A 15-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s alcohol concentration was at least 0.20 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath, or was at least 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of urine; or

(2) A 20-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s alcohol concentration was more than 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath or more than 0.32 grams per 100 milliliters of urine; or

(3) A 25-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s alcohol concentration was more than 0.30 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath or 0.39 grams per 100 milliliters of urine; and

(4) A 20-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s blood or urine contains a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance as listed in § 48‑902.04, Phencyclidine, Cocaine, Methadone, Morphine, or one of its active metabolites or analogs.

(c) A person violating any provision of § 50‑2206.11 or § 50‑2206.12 when the person has 2 or more prior offenses under § 50‑2206.11§ 50‑2206.12, or § 50‑2206.14 and is being sentenced on the current offense shall be fined not less than $2,500 and not more than $10,000, or incarcerated for not more than one year, or both; provided, that a 15-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed, and in addition:

(1) A 20-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s alcohol concentration was at least 0.20 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath, or was at least 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of urine; or

(2) A 25-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s alcohol concentration was more than 0.25 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath or 0.32 grams per 100 milliliters of urine; or

(3) A 30-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s alcohol concentration was more than 0.30 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath or 0.39 grams per 100 milliliters of urine; and

(4) A 25-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s blood or urine contains a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance as defined in § 48‑902.04, Phencyclidine, Cocaine, Methadone, Morphine, or one of its active metabolites or analogs.

(d) An additional 30-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed for each additional violation of any one or more provisions of § 50‑2206.11 or § 50‑2206.12 if the person has 3 prior offenses under § 50‑2206.11§ 50‑2206.12, or § 50‑2206.14 and is being sentenced on the current offense.

(e) The fines set forth in this section shall not be limited by § 22‑3571.01.

§ 50–2206.14. Operating a vehicle while impaired.

No person shall operate or be in physical control of any vehicle in the District while the person’s ability to operate or be in physical control of a vehicle is impaired by the consumption of alcohol or any drug or any combination thereof.

§ 50–2206.17. Additional penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug; commercial vehicle.

A person violating any provision of § 50‑2206.12 shall, in addition to any applicable penalty under section § 50‑2206.13, be subject to an additional 5 day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration.

§ 50–2206.18. Additional penalty for impaired driving with a minor in vehicle.

(a) A person convicted of any offense under this part who, at the time of operation or physical control of the vehicle had a minor, other than him or herself, in the vehicle, shall, in addition to any applicable penalty under this part:

(1) Be fined a minimum of $500 and not more than $1,000 per minor; and

(2) Be incarcerated for a mandatory-minimum term of incarceration of:

(A) 5 days per minor if the minor or minors are restrained in, or by, an age-appropriate child passenger-safety restraint; or

(B) 10 days per minor if the minor or minors are not restrained in, or by, an age-appropriate child passenger-safety restraint.

(b) The fines set forth in this section shall not be limited by § 22‑3571.01.

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Mandatory Minimum Penalties For a First DUI Conviction in the District of Columbia

  • Automatic suspension of a DC driver’s license – length of suspension determined by a hearing at the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles
  • You may be required to install an ignition interlock device if you are granted a restricted license
  • You may be required to submit to regular drug and/or alcohol testing
  • You may be required to enter a drug and/or alcohol program
  • You may be required to attend some of the following:
    • Traffic Alcohol Program
    • Traffic Safety Program
    • Victim’s Impact Panel
  • With a BAC above .20, you must serve at least 10 days in jail.
  • With a BAC above .25, you must serve at least 15 days in jail.
  • With a BAC above .30, you must serve at least 20 days in jail.
  • Significant points on your driver’s license

Call Us Today To Discuss Your Washington, DC DUI, OWI, or DWI Case:
(202) 689-4439

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