What to Do if You Face DUI Charges as a CDL Holder
People who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) earn a living by driving in the transportation industry. As a result, if a person in that field operates under the influence and receives a DUI, it can have severe consequences that can permanently affect their professional life. At the same time, a person with a CDL who has to go to court doesn’t necessarily have to plead guilty.
Penalties for DUI
Penalties for a DUI are always harsh, but they are even more difficult for individuals who hold a CDL, and even more so on a second DUI offense. There are many consequences a commercial driver can face when charged with a DUI, including the following:
- Fines (depend on each state)
- Mandatory alcohol education classes or rehabilitation programs
- Ignition interlock device placed on the vehicle
- Potential jail time, particularly for repeat DUI offenses
- Temporary or even permanent loss of driver’s license
A commercial driver can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is as low as 0.04 percent. This is in comparison with regular drivers, who can be charged with the crime if their BAC is more significant than 0.08 percent.
Loss of a License
A person who holds a CDL is extremely likely to see their license suspended after a DUI conviction. Of course, when a commercial driver faces this situation, it affects their livelihood as they are unable to perform their regular job tasks and cannot earn their salary as a result. Someone with a commercial license faces suspension for as long as a year, and in the worst-case scenario, the individual might have their license permanently revoked.
A person’s license gets automatically suspended if they refuse to take a blood, breath or urine test or even if their DUI occurred while they were driving their regular vehicle and not on duty.
Steps to Take After a DUI Charge
The best thing a commercial driver can do after a DUI charge is to remain calm. It’s important to remember that just because a person’s BAC is over 0.04 doesn’t automatically mean the individual is guilty of the crime. A person in this situation has five days to request a hearing and should do so fast. It’s also vital that a skilled criminal defense attorney represents the individual.
How to Get a CDL After a DUI Conviction
Of course, there are special requirements for getting a CDL. If a person has a DUI on their driving record, this won’t prevent them from getting a CDL. However, it can potentially affect one’s ability to get a job with their preferred company. It depends on a few factors, but when the person applies to a trucking school, they should always be honest about their record when filling out their application. Being honest is the key, as companies can find prior DUI convictions, even if they occurred 20 years ago.
Commercial Drivers Licenses and DUI Charges
DUI charges on an individual with a commercial driver’s license can put someone in a tricky situation. Being out of work and without a mode of transportation make things extremely difficult. Plus, Florida CDL laws often make it tough to reach the intended results; however, retaining an experienced trial lawyer who has successfully assisted CDL drivers with DUIs is almost always the best course of action. At the Umansky Law Firm, we understand DUI defense strategies that provide you with the best chance of getting back to work. Contact us 24/7 by calling our office to receive your free case evaluation.