Same Standard, Different Penalties for Drinking-and-Driving in DC

D.C. Superior Court judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys have traditionally treated the criminal offense of Operating While Impaired (OWI) as if it were a lesser-included offense of Driving Under The Influence (DUI).  Although a specific standard for OWI… Read More

Emergency Legislation Results in Tougher Drinking-and-Driving Laws in D.C.

A new D.C. law, which took effect on August 1, 2012, has increased penalties for people convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI) and operating while impaired (OWI).  For example, the penalty for a… Read More

The “Imaginary Line” in the Walk-and-Turn Test

Jefferson Memorial

Q:  Now, officer, let me turn to the walk-and-turn test. A:  Okay. Q:  You testified on direct that Mr. Smith stepped off the line three times.  That is, he stepped off the line twice on the way down,… Read More

Cocaine Possession: Alternative Treatment for First-Time Drug Offenders in D.C.

American flag

With first-time offender treatment in D.C. generally restricted to marijuana possession, prosecutors frequently offer consideration under Section 48-904.01(e) of the D.C. Code as an alternative to taking a case to trial. Depending on the case, treatment under the… Read More

The “Disappearing Sway” In A DWI/DUI Case

  “Swaying while balancing” is one of four “clues” used by a police officer to detect intoxication during the One-Leg-Stand component of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST).  The police officer would require only one other clue to… Read More

Post-Script On The Guy Who Left His Car On Our Brick Wall

Aerial view of DC

Yesterday I posted about the guy who drove his Lexis onto our brick wall and then left it there.  I assumed he had been drinking. I assumed we would never see him again. And, as suggested by another… Read More

On Becoming Certified to Administer the Standardized Field Sobriety Test

U.S. Capitol building

There is nothing more gratifying for a criminal defense lawyer than the moment on cross-examination when the prosecution’s key witness begins to sweat.  The witness gets that panicked or confused look in the eye and keeps glancing over… Read More