Washington DC DUI Attorney


Virtually everyone can attest to the sense of nervousness and frustration one feels when seeing a police officer’s flashing lights in the rearview mirror. For many people, such an experience leads to a citation for a minor traffic infraction, and the only real consequence is the annoyance of paying a traffic ticket. For those who have been drinking, however, what begins as a nuisance can quickly turn into a nightmare. If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence, you can decline to answer any questions without the presence or advice of your Washington, DC DUI lawyer.

An experienced DUI attorney in the District of Columbia has a number of tools readily available to help you fight your DUI charge. However, you can make the situation easier or more difficult by the choices you make beginning with your initial traffic stop. It is important to understand your rights and to protect them. Keep in mind that you have the right to remain silent, even prior to your arrest and being read your rights. If an officer asks where you have been, if you have been drinking, or how much you have had to drink, you do not have to answer. Giving a statement in an effort to look helpful and compliant can give authorities the evidence they need to prosecute and can jeopardize your defense.

DC DUI and Implied Consent

If you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in DC, you may be read an Implied Consent Notice and asked to submit to blood alcohol analysis, generally through a breathalyzer machine such as the Intoxilyzer. Failure to consent to this test leads to the automatic suspension of your license. Even if you are acquitted of DUI charges or if your case is dismissed, the license suspension remains in place for refusal to submit to testing.

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In DC, a DUI is defined as either operating or being in physical control of a vehicle, and being appreciably impaired by alcohol, medication, drugs, or some combination thereof. DUI and DWI carry the same maximum penalties, but DWI is considered to be what’s called a Per Se offense. So for a DUI, the prosecutors need to prove that you were appreciably impaired by alcohol.

If you provide a breath sample to the police upon your arrest, and your resulting blood alcohol content comes back as 0.08 or higher, the DWI law says that this level of blood alcohol content is enough to prove that you were impaired beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s what it means to have a DWI in Washington, DC.

Blood alcohol concentration from Intoxilyzer analysis is the most frequently used evidence by prosecutors. However, a skilled DC DUI lawyer can effectively challenge the results of the test, perhaps leading to the dismissal of your case or a verdict of not guilty. An attorney who is trained in the proper maintenance of breathalyzer machines and the administration of sobriety tests can expertly identify any improprieties or inconsistencies and utilize them to bring into question the accuracy of blood alcohol analysis results.

Criminal Cases vs. Administrative Hearings

In every DUI case, two separate proceedings are involved. The first is the criminal case that takes place in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. This is the portion of the case where the government is trying to punish a person by putting them in jail, imposing a fine, and other punitive sanctions.

The second is the administrative proceeding. Through this proceeding, the DC Department of Motor Vehicles will decide whether to suspend the driver’s license for up to three years. The only way to prevent this license suspension is to request an administrative hearing within the specified period of days of the service of notice. If this hearing is not requested in a timely manner, the accused’s license will be summarily suspended. Once the hearing is requested, it will put any revocation action on hold until the hearing.

Further details on the processes of both proceedings are covered in the following pages:

DC DUI Factors and Your Case

A dedicated DC DUI attorney will understand all of these topics and their potential impact on your case. That includes:

That attorney will be equally skilled when dealing other offenses that are tangentially related to DUI violations, such as:

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Washington, DC, time is of the essence. From protecting your rights to representing you at an administrative hearing to reinstate your license to building the strongest defense, DC DUI lawyer Shawn Sukumar can diligently address all your defense needs. Call today for a free evaluation of your case and find out how to protect your rights and your reputation. Call our law offices any time, any day of the week.

Announcing Our Inaugural Scholarship Campaign!

As a lawyer who has dedicated his career to defending those facing criminal offenses, Mr. Sukumar believes passionately that every individual is entitled to competent legal defense. Through his practice, Mr. Sukumar works diligently to provide his clients with sensitivity, knowledge, and vigilance. He so willingly takes the extra step for his clients because he understands that they are under a tremendous amount of stress. As a criminal attorney, he realizes that one mistake or transgression can cost an individual their entire future.

Through this scholarship, Mr. Sukumar is hoping to raise awareness of certain flaws in our criminal justice system that unfairly penalizes individuals for singular or minor transgressions. This scholarship will award $500 to an individual who matches the application criterion on the official scholarship page, and who also submits a well-reasoned and reviewed answer to the prompt: What issue within the criminal justice system do you believe needs reform? Why? What is a practical solution to this problem and what changes do you think this solution would make?

Shawn Sukumar in His Own Words

Below are a few links to question-and-answer pages excerpted from an interview with Shawn Sukumar in which he discusses drunk driving cases.

Reviews of Shawn Sukumar

To see client reviews and testimonials about Shawn Sukumar, visit his reviews page on Google, Avvo, or Yelp.

Client Reviews

Shawn Sukumar Held His Ground and Fought Diligently

Shortly after my 21st birthday I was charged with a DWI within that same year a DUI, 2 separate charges; both incidents very circumstantial. I accepted responsibility though I was in complete disagreement with what the prosecutions in court were suggesting I receive for "punishment". I contacted Price Benowitz by "walk-in" due to their office being walking distance from the court building. During my free consultation I was referred to Mr. Sukumar, he accepted my case and we began working toward goals I laid out. He assured me I would have to do my part while he guaranteed to do his (stay out of trouble, handle daily responsibility, keep-clean, stay positive, etc.) I did all of this. My case had ups and downs due to other personal conflict and obligation aside from these situations. He continually gave advice to fortify my chances at trial and sentencing. The chance of mandatory jail time was expected and ideas of it were being thrown around between the judge and prosecution... ended up with community service and probation. Prosecution against me, my own probation officer not advocating all the POSITIVE and PRODUCTIVE things I was doing, Shawn Sukumar held his ground and fought diligently for me. I give thanks for him all the time, and am grateful for his optimism. He researches all aspects; definitely a man with a good heart and pure intention for his clients. Thank You.

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars
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Client Reviews
  • Straight Forward and Quick

    I don’t usually get in trouble, but I had a fake ID and was caught with it at a bar. I found the firm through a friend who knew Travis. I initially met with Shawn and it was good… everything got explained in the first meeting. I was really nervous about what was going to […]

  • I Needed Someone to do This Right

    I was charged in Washington, DC for smoking marijuana outside the 930 club before a concert. It was the first time being charged with possession in DC. The responding officers were ready to let me go, however a senior policeman showed up and made sure that I was arrested. I was released within a couple […]