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Washington DC DUI FAQ's
If I've already failed my Breathalyzer test, is there any hope of avoiding conviction?
Yes. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) readings from breathalyzer tests are not infallible. There are many variables involved in the complex process of measuring BAC. The prosecution has the burden of proving that each instrument was properly maintained, certified, calibrated, and administered when determining your BAC. An experienced DC DUI attorney knows the weaknesses of BAC evidence and will fight to exclude and/or attack the validity of the test results in each case.
What should I do if I am pulled over?
When you are stopped, regardless of the circumstance, always be courteous. If it is dark outside, turn on your overhead light. Put your hands on the wheel in plain view and never argue with the officer. The goal is to put the officer at ease, as he or she must constantly be on high alert in each of these encounters. Have your registration card, proof of insurance, and license organized and in an easily accessible location. These thoughtful responses to law enforcement convey a sense of personal control and respect for the officer that he or she will likely pay back in kind.
While being polite is necessary, discussing anything besides your personal information is not required. In the event that you are under suspicion for any criminal offense, including a DUI, you are not required to engage in a dialogue that may lead to self-incrimination. If an officer begins to ask questions concerning your ingestion of alcohol or drugs, you are not required to answer and instead should politely request to speak to an attorney.
If the officer believes that you may be impaired by alcohol or drugs, you will almost always be asked to perform several Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). You are NOT required to perform SFSTs, and should carefully consider whether you are willing to give the officer additional evidence of your possible impairment through your performance on the SFSTs.
I've received a DUI, is there anything I need to do immediately?
When you are charged with a DUI in Washington DC, you will most likely receive a Notice of Proposed Suspension. If you are a resident of Washington DC, you will have 10 days to request a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing to prevent your license from being suspended. If you are not a DC resident, the time limit is extended to 15 days. Contact a reliable DC DUI attorney at once to begin organizing a defense for the DMV hearing as well as for the criminal case itself.
What will happen to my insurance?
A drunk driving conviction will likely increase the cost of your current rates or cause your policy to cancel altogether. Some estimates show that insurance premiums may increase by over 300% in five years. Your individual rates will definitely be affected, and so might the rates of your family members or employer if a company car was used during the arrest.
If you have more questions pertaining to DC DUI Law, please visit http://mpdc.dc.gov for more information. Similarly, if you live in the Maryland area, please consult an Ellicott City Criminal Lawyer for more information and a free consultation.