Stiffer fines and penalties
Motorists caught driving drunk in the District now face stiffer penalties, including longer stays in jail for those with higher blood-alcohol levels and repeat offenders. Those with a history of driving under the influence and first-time offenders with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.2 percent or more will see minimum jail sentences increase from five to 10 days, according to a spokesman for the D.C. attorney general. Those registering a 0.25 percent blood-alcohol concentration will be required to spend 15 days in jail rather than 10, and those with a 0.3 percent concentration must spend 20 days in jail.
Drivers found to be under the influence of certain illegal drugs would also be required to spend from 15 to 20 days in jail, depending on whether the conviction is a first-time offense. It is illegal to drive a personal vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.08 percent, but for the first time the law will hold commercial drivers to a higher standard. Drivers of commercial vehicles, including taxicabs, limousines, shuttle buses, and 18-wheelers will have to abide by a blood-alcohol limit of 0.04 percent.
Drivers of those vehicles would face minimum jail sentences of five days if convicted of driving with a higher blood-alcohol concentration. Maximum incarceration periods and fines will increase, with first-time offenders facing jail sentences of up to 180 days and fines of up to $1,000. This doesn't have to be you! CALL US!!! Call (240) 370-6277 for an appointment and confidential consultation today.
Mandatory minimum DUI sentencing laws set minimum sentences for certain convictions that judges cannot lower, even for extenuating circumstances.
Someone convicted of a specific charge with a mandatory minimum sentence must serve that sentence. In other words, the prosecutor, judge, and defense lawyer do not have the discretion to dismiss or minimize the offense.
For a test case, if an individual charged with a first offense DUI is found guilty and convicted of having a breath alcohol content or blood alcohol content of 0.2 or over, there is a mandatory five-day DC drunk driving jail time with no discretion.