If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Virginia, the state is extra concerned about you driving after conviction for a DUI. There are a couple standards that make a DUI more difficult for someone with a CDL than for somebody who does not have a CDL.
CDL holders in Alexandria are held to a higher standard by law enforcement, but not only because it is a source of employment. When you are driving a commercial vehicle, the state has granted you a privilege.
However, with that privilege comes the responsibility of not driving under the influence, particularly when you are transporting hazardous materials, but also when you are just driving any commercial vehicle.
The state has imposed tougher sanctions, lower blood alcohol content limits, and they will suspend your license entirely, which is a little stricter than somebody who does not have a CDL.
Contact an Alexandria DUI attorney today to discuss how to mitigate damage against your livelihood following a driving under the influence charge in Virginia.
If you are found to be operating a commercial vehicle in Alexandria with the blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, you could be convicted of a DUI. This is unique and special because typically in Virginia the legal limit for driving under the influence is 0.08. Since you are driving a commercial vehicle on a CDL, the state has lowered it to 0.04, which is a very low tolerance.
A 0.04 result can be as little as one or two beers depending on your body type, your metabolism, and the size and alcohol content of the beers. This is one of the issues you should be concerned about if you have a CDL.
Additionally, if you are transporting hazardous materials at the time of your arrest in Alexandria, you can lose your CDL for 3 years for a first-offense DUI. Again, that is at that 0.04 blood alcohol concentration. The Commonwealth is concerned about people carrying hazardous materials while having any alcohol. If you are convicted of a DUI in your personal vehicle, your CDL can be disqualified until your suspension is over, which typically means one year.
Although you might be able to get restrictions on your normal license that still allow you to drive, you will be disqualified from holding a CDL for a year if you are convicted of just a standard DUI offense in your personal vehicle. Therefore, an Alexandria CDL holder should have more concerns about a DUI than somebody with a regular, non-CDL driver’s license.
If your blood alcohol content was 0.04 or higher and you were driving a commercial vehicle with a CDL, you could be convicted of a DUI in Alexandria. This means you lose your license for a year and are subject to all of the other penalties for standard DUI. If you are transporting a hazardous material in a commercial vehicle on your CDL and you register 0.04 or above, you can be convicted of a DUI and can lose your license for a minimum of three years.
If you are convicted of a DUI for an incident involving your personal vehicle, not a commercial vehicle, your CDL will be suspended for one year without any restricted CDL. There are various concerns you should be worried about if you have a CDL license and a DUI in Virginia. Speak with an experienced CDL DUI lawyer in Alexandria to discuss your options.
There are numerous long-term consequences of any DUI, but it is particularly a problem for somebody who has a CDL because typically that is how they earn a living. Aside from the immediate impacts of the fine, the possible jail time, the alcohol programs, and all the cost that goes along with that, your CDL will be suspended for at least one year if you are convicted of a DUI. It could be longer. It could be up to three years. If you have several DUIs, it could be indefinitely, which would preclude you from ever getting a CDL again.
Additionally, you always have to be concerned that whenever you apply for a job in the future, if it involves driving either a commercial vehicle or driving at all, the employer will be concerned about any DUI conviction and possibly less likely to hire you. You should also be concerned in the long-term about your insurance rates. A DUI certainly increases insurance rates and that should be another long-term concern. Also, if you are ever convicted of a DUI, you have been convicted of a crime. That stays on your record indefinitely.
Essentially, another long-term concern and something you should be aware of if you are charged with DUI, whether you are a CDL holder or not. Someone who is interested in trying to mitigate long-term damage to their record and professional future should speak with an experienced Alexandria CDL DUI attorney as soon as they are able to discuss their defense.
If you are charged with a DUI offense but not convicted, you should not lose your ability to work. However, there is a seven-day mandatory license suspension upon arrest for DUI, so that could affect you for the seven days after your arrest. If you are just charged but not convicted, you should be able to work. It depends on your employer and what knowledge they have and what their policies are.
They may make a blanket statement that if you are arrested but not convicted, you will lose your job, but you really should not. Until there is a conviction in your record, it should not impact you.
If you are concerned about your job following a charge but not a conviction for driving under the influence, call an Alexandria CDL DUI attorney today to discuss and start building your case.
There is no restricted license available for a CDL holder on their first DUI. You can get restrictions on your personal license, but you cannot get a restricted commercial driver’s license. There is no such thing in Alexandria.
The biggest thing is to try to have you found not guilty of the DUI offense. If you win your case, at that point there is nothing that is going to happen to your CDL or your other license. That is the first thing a CDL DUI attorney in Alexandria can do.
An attorney can also try to get a better disposition for you, maybe a different charge. Maybe the Commonwealth would be willing to amend the charge to reckless driving and not suspend your license.
Do not send us confidential information related to you or your company until you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us.