If you are facing a commercial DUI charge, you already know that the penalties in the event of a conviction will be harsh. Fines and costs, mandatory jail time, alcohol assessment programs – these are just some of the possibilities. But the most crucial aspect of a DUI charge for a commercial driver is loss of driving privileges.
For most people, being unable to drive may result in increased costs to be driven around, and to a significant amount of inconvenience. But if you are a commercial driver, your entire livelihood, and with it your entire way of life, is at risk.
WHAT IS A COMMERCIAL DUI?
The average person faces a DUI charge in Arizona if that person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or greater. If you are driving a commercial vehicle, the operation of which requires commercial driver’s license (CDL), the threshold is half that amount, or a BAC of 0.04. If your BAC exceeds that amount, you can be charged with commercial DUI. In addition to the lower standard of alcohol concentration, commercial drivers are also subject to penalties specifically related to their status as holders of a CDL.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR COMMERCIAL DUI?
The first thing to understand about a commercial driving under the influence charge is that you are subject to all the penalties associated with any DUI conviction. Loss of license, fines, costs, alcohol/drug screening, and probation, among others. But as a commercial driver, your case also raises the possibility of additional sanctions, including suspension of your commercial license. Here is the way it works.
If you are driving a commercial vehicle, and you are convicted of driving under the influence (which may consist of having a BAC of 0.04 or greater), or if you are driving a non-commercial vehicle, and you are convicted of DUI, or if you refuse to undergo blood alcohol testing, you will lose your commercial driving privileges for at least one year. If, at the time, you were transporting hazardous materials, the loss of license will be for three years. And that is for a first commercial DUI. A second commercial DUI will result in the lifetime revocation of your CDL.
DEFENDING A COMMERCIAL DUI CASE
The ramifications of a DUI conviction for a commercial driver are enormous. You will effectively be barred from your chosen profession during the period of any license suspension, and in the case of a second conviction, the bar could well be permanent. If you are a commercial driver and you have been charged with DUI, going through life with this weight on your shoulders is a tremendous burden. At Feldman & Royle, we understand what you are going through, and we are eager to use our experience and our talents to help you get through this unfortunate episode in your life. Talk to us about your case. We will investigate the facts and the evidence in the hands of the prosecutor. We will analyze your case, provide an intelligent strategy for your defense, and do whatever we can to provide you with the best chance of a dismissal. Call us today and learn how we can make a difference in your case.