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. For more information, consult the 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

     

  • Autonomous Vehicles

    Authorizes full deployment of AVs with a human operator.

  • 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