A DUI charge can be a costly and embarrassing problem for anyone, but for someone who drives for a living, an impaired driving conviction can rob them of their livelihood. Truck drivers, bus drivers, and others with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are subject to intense penalties for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and they are held to a much higher standard when it comes to driving and intoxication.
Even just one DUI arrest can result in the loss of a CDL for one year; a subsequent arrest means could see that CDL revoked permanently. Contact a Virginia CDL DUI lawyer who has experience helping individuals with CDLs face DWI charges in Virginia.
It is common knowledge that the legal limit for intoxication per se is 0.08 percent in most states. Some states have slightly lower limits, and others allow for charges of lesser alcohol-related driving offenses if a driver shows signs of impairment even though his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.06 percent to 0.07 percent.
For commercial drivers located in or passing through the Commonwealth, the legal limit per Section 46.2-341.24(A) is 0.08 percent. However, per Section 46.2-341.24(B), commercial drivers who “drive or operate a commercial motor vehicle while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent…” can be found guilty of a lesser offense under the same provision. You will find both section codes here.
Anyone convicted of DUI in Virginia is subject to criminal and administrative penalties. As a Virginia CDL DUI lawyer can tell you, the severity of the penalties depends on certain factors, such as the level of intoxication, whether there was transportation of minors, whether or not an impaired driver caused an accident, and whether an offense was a first DUI or a subsequent offense.
In general, a first offense of DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a minimum fine of $250 and a one-year suspension of the driver’s license. Repeated offenses bring heavier fines, mandatory minimum jail terms, ignition interlock, and more.
A person who holds a CDL is subject to the same penalties as a non-commercial driver, but in addition, he or she will lose suffer the suspension of the commercial driver’s license for one to three years. There are several actions which can cause a CDL holder to face the disqualification of the commercial license.
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the following situations are grounds for CDL disqualification:
In generally, a commercial driver who commits one of the above acts will suffer a one-year CDL disqualification. However, if the driver is transporting hazardous materials at the time of the incident, the CDL will be disqualified for three years.
A subsequent violation results in a lifetime disqualification of the CDL.
A driver’s license suspension can be a hassle for anyone arrested for DUI. For a CDL holder, however, the disqualification of the commercial license can destroy a career. If convicted of DUI, whether or not you are working at the time of your arrest, you can lose your ability to work in your chosen profession for at least a year.
Once you are able to qualify for a CDL again, having a DUI conviction on your record may still cause current or prospective employers to bypass you in favor of an applicant with a clean record.
If you are arrested for a DUI in Virginia and are a commercial driver, a Virginia CDL DUI lawyer can help you as you work to retain your professional driving privileges and protect your record. Call her Virginia law offices today for a free, initial legal consultation.
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