District of Columbia

GHSA maintains data on state laws surrounding a number of highway safety issues. Below is information regarding laws in the District of Columbia. Please note that GHSA does not compile any additional data on state laws other than what is presented in these pages. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

  • Alcohol Impaired Driving

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions
    .20 and .25 2-90 days or until deposition Yes  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Discretionary

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws Alcohol Exclusion Laws Limiting Treatment
    Yes Yes No

     

  • Bicyclists and Pedestrians

    Bicycle helmets required for all riders under 16.

  • Child Passenger Safety

    Child Restraint Required

    7 yrs or under

    Adult Safety Belt Permissible

    8-15 yrs

    Maximum Fine for 1st Offense

    $75 + points

  • Distracted Driving

    Hand-Held Ban?

    Yes. Primary law.

    All Cell Phone Ban?

    School Bus Drivers

    Yes. Primary law.

    Novice Drivers

    Drivers with learner's permit. Primary law.

    Text Messaging Ban?

    All drivers. Primary law.

  • Drug Impaired Driving

    DUID Zero Tolerance or Per se Laws for Some Drugs

    • None

    Marijuana-Specific Laws

    • Possession and Use: Decriminalized and legal for recreational and medical use
    • Impaired Driving: None
  • Mature Drivers

    Length of Regular Renewal Cycle

    5 years

    Provisions for Mature Drivers

    70 and over: vision test, possible reaction test, and physician's letter required

     

  • Motorcyclists

    Universal helmet law enacted 1970.

  • Seat Belts

    Type of Law

    Primary

    Who Is Covered?

    Riders 16 and over

    In What Seat?

    All

    Maximum Fine for 1st Offense

    $50

  • Sobriety Checkpoints

    Checkpoints are conducted once or twice a month. Their legality is upheld under federal Constitution.

  • Speed and Red Light Cameras

    Speed Cameras

    Violation/State Law

    Permitted

    Permitted Locations/Criteria

    Districtwide

    Citation Issued To/Liability

    Registered owner/Owner

    Image Taken

    Not addressed

    Penalties (Traditional Penalties)

    $50-$300 based on driver's MPH over posted speed limit; no points ($50-$300; 3, 4 or 5 points based on driver's MPH over posted speed limit)


    Red Light Cameras

    Violation/State Law

    Permitted

    Permitted Locations/Criteria

    Districtwide

    Citation Issued To/Liability

    Registered owner/Owner

    Image Taken

    Not addressed

    Penalties (Traditional Penalties)

    $150; no points ($150; 2 points)

  • Speeding and Aggressive Driving

    Urban Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    55 55
  • Teen and Novice Drivers

    Full Privilege Minimum Age

    18 years

    Learner Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Minimum Duration (Months)

    Required Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours)

    16 6 40 (10 in intermediate stage)

    Intermediate Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Nighttime Driving Restriction

    Passenger Restriction (except family, unless noted)

    16 / 6

    September through June: 11 p.m. - 6 a.m. (Sun-Thurs); Midnight - 6 a.m. (Fri-Sat)

    July through August: midnight - 6 a.m.

    First 6 months: no passengers

    Thereafter: No more than 2 passengers

  • Work Zones

    Violations Affected

    All moving violations

    Enhanced Penalties

    Double original fine

    Workers Must Be Present?

    Yes

    Signs Must Be Present?

    Yes