This posting is the first in a three part series that seeks to answer some of the many questions people have regarding DC DUI arrests. This post, like all posts, is not intended to serve as legal advice and is for educational purposes only.
Do I have to blow into the breath machine?
This question is complicated, but the short answer is no. However, if you refuse to blow into the breathalyzer or submit to a urine or blood sample, the DC Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend your license for one year. Although any arrest or conviction for DUI or DWI in DC can result in a loss of license for at least six months anyway. The refusal may add another six months. However, most DC DUI judges will give probation to first time offenders. However, if your breath score is above a .20, then that triggers mandatory minimum jail time under the law. That means even if the judge only wants you to give you probation, she must give you some mandatory minimum time. The new law also prevents this time from being served on the weekends. DUI is the only crime where the law literally requires you to incriminate yourself while police investigate you or be punished.