DUI charges are serious, especially if you are a Commercial Driver’s License holder (CDL) whose livelihood depends on retaining your CDL. Below, a Richmond DUI lawyer explains what CDL holders need to know when they’ve been arrested and/or charged with a DUI.
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An individual with a commercial driver’s license that is involved in a DUI in Richmond should understand that Richmond has a zero tolerance policy regarding DUIs. They do not offer any sort of alternative or first offense programs making it even more important to obtain counsel immediately.
Additionally, judges and prosecutors will actually be much harsher on an individual that has a CDL if they are charged with DUI.
If you’re a CDL driver who is charged with a DUI in the city of Richmond, there is an administrative suspension that will go into effect immediately. In addition to that, your CDL license will be suspended until the matter is finalized. So, your ability to operate a CDL or even maintain an employment will be severely hampered.
If you’re charged but not convicted of a DUI, you could possibly lose your ability to work based on the final outcome. If it’s a charge that’s reduced to reckless driving or it’s a plea granted with a reduction that comes with any sort of license suspension, this could result in the temporary loss or suspension of your CDL as well as loss of employment.
CDL holders are held to a much higher standard in court due to their status and due to the fact that it is their source of employment. The courts view CDL drivers as almost expert drivers which means they are given a responsibility to haul sometimes dangerous chemicals and materials on the public highway. They are held to a very high standard. In addition to that, due to the size of these vehicles and the amount of damage they could cause when there’s an accident, they are held to a very high standard.
With regards to a CDL driver, the long term implications can be very severe. A DUI conviction can result or will result in an immediate 1-year loss of your ability to have a CDL. It can result in up to a three-year loss and/or a permanent revocation of your CDL license should there be other issues on your record.
You cannot operate a CDL on a restricted license in the state of Virginia.
The most important thing an attorney can do for a CDL holder in the state of Virginia is to obviously try to get the charge reduced and/or dismissed so that it doesn’t result in a long term license suspension or license revocation that would impair their ability to drive or operate a vehicle.
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