Impaired Driving

impairedImpaired driving is one of the biggest threats to our roadways and causes of crashes, injuries and fatalities.

Nearly 30 people die daily in motor vehicle crashes nationwide involving an alcohol-impaired driver. This works out to be one death every 51 minutes, accounting for about 30 percent of the total motor vehicle fatalities in the country. The cost of alcohol-related crashes is more than $59 billion annually.

In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.

The District’s laws for impaired driving are clear, police officers are enforcing them, and prosecutors are seeking jail time. There are three distinct impaired driving laws that are enforced by the Metropolitan Police Department:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) – Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. A driver can be convicted in court based solely on the breath, blood or urine results without any structured field sobriety test.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – BAC of .07 percent or lower. A driver can be charged with DUI if, in addition to a BAC reading, the driver has other signs of impairment from a structured field sobriety test and from observations of the suspect’s driving behavior.
  • Under Age Drinking – Persons under 21 cannot purchase, consume, or possess any alcoholic beverages of any kind. If they are found to be operating a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol, they will be placed under arrest and charged with DWI.

If you’re arrested and convicted for a first-time impaired driving offense, penalties include:

  • Up to 90 days in jail.
  • Six months license revocation.
  • Sky-rocketing insurance rates.
  • Thousands of dollars in fines.

Impaired driving is risky, costly and deadly.

DC participates in the regional Checkpoint Strikeforce anti-impaired driving public awareness campaign. Checkpoint Strikeforce combines high visibility checkpoints and paid advertising to create awareness of enforcement and educate the public about the dangers and consequences of impaired driving.


DUI Moment of Reflection

Have you made the choice to drive impaired or plan ahead?