Driving under the influence for marijuana is the same offense for driving under the influence of alcohol in DC. Its a serious crime in the District of Columbia. For first offenders, DUI charges carry a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and or a $1,000.00 fine. Having said that, there is no felony DUI charge in DC. That means the offense is a misdemeanor no matter how many times someone gets arrested for it. However, DUI and DWI cases in DC are the only misdemeanors in the entire D.C. Criminal Code that carry mandatory minimum jail sentences for certain aggravating factors.
Mandatory minimum jail sentences require a judge, under the law, to impose jail under certain circumstances. That means the judge could honestly believe the defendant is a saint but, if convicted, under certain circumstances, would have to impose jail. The fact that DUI cases carry potential mandatory minimum sentences, unlike any other misdemeanors in DC, shows how serious the criminal justice system takes DUI charges in DC.