Commercial Drivers License Violations
In our state, commercial drivers license violations are stricter than for regular drivers. This is due to the fact that commercial vehicles such as semi-trailers, trucks or vans carry much more responsibility because of the amount of damage they can create when they are involved in an accident.
For example, a DWI & DUI defense case is serious enough as it is – but with a commercial drivers license (CDL), a DUI conviction carries much more severe repercussions. The legal limit for blood alcohol level for drivers with a CDL is 0.04%, whereas for normal drivers it is 0.08%.
The penalties for DUI under these circumstances increase with each offense.
- With the first offense – revocation of the CDL for one year, along with applicable fines and penalties including possible jail time and educational or counseling programs
- Second offense – most likely will result in revocation of CDL for life, although this can be negotiated to a term of 10 years, along with applicable fines and penalties
- Third violation results in mandatory revocation for life, along with other penalties and fines
In the event that a driver with a CDL is stopped under suspicion of DUI, and is found to have a blood alcohol level under the legal 0.04% limit, he will be issued an “out of service” notice and will not be allowed to drive for 24 hours. Additionally if a driver is found to be DWI while driving with his personal license and his license is revoked, his CDL will also be revoked.
It is often assumed by many drivers who have a CDL that driving violations while not on the clock or while driving their personal vehicle will not have an impact on their commercial driving privileges. Actually the opposite is true. You are expected to maintain your driving skills even when not on the job driving a commercial vehicle. The consequences are just as severe and possibly even worse.
But just because you’ve been charged with a DUI or other violation while possessing a CDL does not mean you don’t have any other options legally. You may be eligible for a plea bargain, or be able to exchange some penalties for some others such as community service. There may be other ways to argue that the charges weren’t completely valid also, and therefore be able to have the charges reduced or even dismissed altogether. If you’ve been charged with a traffic violation while holding a CDL, it is advised that you seek the services of a competent attorney to represent you in court to get the best possible outcome for your case.
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