Providing Aggressive Defense Strategies for Commercial Drivers
Getting charged with a DUI can have severe implications, no matter what kind of driver’s license you have. But for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, the consequences of a DUI charge are even more severe. Unfortunately, CDL holders are held to a higher standard than passenger vehicle drivers, meaning you can be charged with a DUI at a lower blood alcohol content than a passenger driver.
If you have been charged with a DUI, it could mean spending time in jail, paying hefty fines, or losing your commercial license. Our team at the DUI Defense Group is dedicated to protecting your rights in and out of court. We will use our background and legal knowledge to develop a comprehensive strategy that reduces or removes the penalties you face.
Don’t leave your future and the future of your career up to chance. Contact us today by calling 866-927-3295.
How Does DUI Law Impact CDL Holders?
For passenger vehicle drivers, driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is illegal. However, commercial vehicle drivers are held to a higher standard, as commercial vehicles are often carrying heavy or dangerous cargo. Commercial truck accidents have a much higher likelihood of causing severe accidents that can lead to grave injuries and even death.
In California and most other states, commercial drivers can be charged with a DUI if their BAC is 0.04% or higher. This means that commercial drivers can be arrested and charged for driving at half the BAC level of a regular driver. Unfortunately, this higher standard often punishes commercial drivers unfairly, leading to severe consequences that others don’t face.
What Are the Potential Penalties for a DUI Conviction?
All defendants of a DUI charge can potentially face jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, a suspended or restricted license, and mandatory DUI school. However, CDL drivers often face further consequences that can impact their ability to keep working in the industry.
Extra penalties for CDL holders include:
- CDL suspension of one year. Other drivers face a license suspension of four months.
- No restricted driving privileges. Other drivers can apply for restricted driving privileges that allow them to drive to and from work and school. However, you cannot apply for a restricted CDL, even though your work likely depends on you having this license.
- Possible loss of your license. If you are convicted of a DUI a second time, you will lose your CDL for life.
If you drive commercial vehicles for a living, having a suspended license will likely mean losing your job. But even after your license is reinstated, you could face further difficulties with your job.
Below are the further difficulties you could face with work:
- Getting barred from working as a commercial driver. Employers often ask potential workers about their criminal records and DUI convictions. If you have a conviction on your record, even from many years ago, a potential employer may use it as an excuse not to hire you.
- Paying more for insurance. Car insurance rates almost always increase after a DUI conviction. If you own a commercial vehicle, the high costs could make it impossible to continue working.
Penalties from a DUI conviction, even one that happened years ago, can follow you around for life. If you have been charged with a DUI, contacting our team of experienced defense attorneys is the best way to protect yourself. Call our office today for more information.
Can a CDL Holder Refuse a Chemical DUI Test?
If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, the officer will likely ask you to take a breathalyzer test. According to California state law, drivers who refuse to take a chemical test will automatically have their license suspended for one year. If the driver has any prior DUI convictions, the refusal could lead to increased jail time.
If you have zero prior DUIs in the past ten years and you refuse a breath test, you will be sentenced to 48 hours extra in jail and six extra months of DUI school. For one prior conviction, you get 96 additional hours in jail; for two prior convictions, you receive ten extra days in jail. If you have three or more prior DUI convictions on your record, you will receive 18 extra days in jail.
What Are the Main Defense Strategies for a CDL DUI Charge?
While DUI charges are serious, there are ways to fight them. In California, our team of defense attorneys can help you create a solid defense strategy based on your circumstances.
Below are the primary defense strategies for a CDL DUI charge:
- The results of the DUI chemical test were not accurate. Breath tests and blood tests can be faulty, leading to inaccurate results.
- The police did not follow the proper procedure during the arrest. Officers are required to respect your rights even if you are detained or arrested.
- Lack of probable cause. Officers must have probable cause to pull you over for suspected drunk driving.
How Can a Defense Attorney Help Me?
As a commercial driver, losing your license for any period of time can result in job loss. Other penalties for DUIs, including jail time and fines, can disrupt your life for years to come. To avoid these serious consequences, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire a team of experienced defense attorneys.
At the DUI Defense Group, our attorneys focus solely on DUI cases so we can give you the best and most up-to-date legal advice. Contact us today to receive a free consultation by calling 866-927-3295