DC DUI Regional Rules

Every state and the District of Columbia have their own rules on prosecuting criminal DUI cases. Each state also has its own rules on the impact a DUI has on a person’s driving privileges. In many states, the criminal DUI penalties are combined with the penalties for a person’s driver’s license. A single judge has the power to impose criminal penalties such as jail time, probation, fines, and alcohol classes in addition to the suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license. However, that is not the case with DC DUI regional rules. A judge in DC cannot impose restrictions, license penalties are handled by the DC DMV.

A person should consult an experienced local drunk driving attorney right away to begin building their defense. A person could lose their license for a DUI, and it will be on their criminal record if they are convicted. Rules for ignition interlock and restrictive permits vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is important for a person facing a DUI in DC to understand the possibility of obtaining a restricted permit or ignition interlock benefits. A dedicated lawyer should know how those possibilities differ depending on where they receive their DUI and the jurisdiction where they have their driver’s license.

Regional License Restrictions

Under DC rules, criminal judges have no power over a person’s driving privileges or the status of their driver’s license. A DC judge could impose a no-driving restriction on a person while their case is pending as a condition of their pre-trial release. However, judges in criminal cases in DC do not have the ability to suspend or revoke the person’s driver’s license. That is handled only through the DC DMV. A person facing a DUI in DC has a pending criminal charge and a possible pending hearing with the DC DMV. A person with a DC license could face the revocation of their driver’s license by the DC DMV that prevents them from being able to drive in DC or in any other state.

When a person does not have a DC driver’s license, they could have penalties imposed to their DC driving privileges by the DC DMV based on DC rules. The person could face possible penalties by their home state DMV which could also impose restrictions, revocations, and other penalties when they become aware of penalties imposed by the DC authorities.

Impact of a DC DUI on Restricted Permits

Another way that regional rules differ between DC and other states is the ability for a driver to obtain restricted permits for occupational licenses upon the imposition of any license penalties by the DC DMV. People who lose their driving privileges as a result of the decision of the DC DMV cannot receive restricted permits or work permit. The DC DMV does permit limited licenses or work permits in some circumstances.

In limited circumstances, people with a DC driver’s licenses who face the revocation of their driving privileges as a result of a DC DUI may be eligible for an ignition interlock program. That might reduce the duration of any license revocation they face as a result of their DUI. However, out-of-state licensees are not eligible for the ignition interlock program when their DUI took place in the District of Columbia.

National Driver Registry

When a person is arrested and charged with a DUI, they face penalties by the DC courts in the criminal case and potential penalties by the DC DMV. DMV are all linked together in a national registry. For example, when someone with a DC license gets a traffic infraction in Maryland, Virginia, or other states; the ticket issuing jurisdiction notifies the DC DMV that an infraction took place. The DMV imposes the appropriate number of points and has the person’s DC driving record reflect the out-of-state traffic infraction.

DMVs around the country are lined up so that a person’s home state is notified of infractions in other states. These can also work in situations where a person faces DMV penalties as a result of driving under the influence charges. This means that sometimes a person who receives a DUI in Washington, DC who does not have a DC driver’s license could still face possible penalties to their home state driver’s license when their home state becomes aware of penalties imposed by the DC DMV.