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DUI could more heavily impact your CDL

Many individuals rely on their commercial driver's license, or CDL, in order to make a living as a truck driver or operator of another type of commercial vehicle. Because these vehicles often carry potentially hazardous cargo or numerous people at a time, these drivers must adhere to more strict standards than individuals who operate non-commercial vehicles. As a person with a CDL license, you likely understand the regulations regarding time logs, hours of sleep and rest, and numerous other rules you must follow.

In addition to rules regarding hours of operation, you also face regulations regarding alcohol consumption and commercial driving that other drivers do not.

Blood-alcohol limit

Many drivers of standard vehicles know that a vehicle operator's blood-alcohol level cannot reach or surpass the federal limit of .08 percent. However, for commercial vehicle drivers, the blood-alcohol percentage has an even lower limit. A CDL driver can face the same charges for having a blood-alcohol percentage of .04 as a non-commercial driver with a percent of .08. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, enacted this rule.

Time restrictions

In addition to a lower blood-alcohol limit, the FMCSA also placed a restriction on CDL drivers that prohibits drivers from operating a commercial vehicle if they have consumed alcohol within the last four hours.

DUI punishments

When accused of operating a commercial vehicle after drinking alcohol or using drugs, you could face more severe consequences than drivers of non-commercial vehicles. For instance, if a conviction for DUI charges results from the criminal proceedings, you could have your CDL suspended for a longer length of time than a non-commercial driver may lose a standard license. As a result, you could lose income due to not having the ability to operate your truck or other commercial vehicle.

Furthermore, even if the DUI charge and conviction came about while you operated a personal vehicle, you would still have to inform your employer of the conviction. If the punishment involved the suspension of your standard driver's license, your employer cannot allow you to operate on your CDL as long as you have a suspended standard license.

Defending against charges

If you have had DUI charges brought against you, you have the right to defend against those allegations. A successful criminal defense could allow you to avoid a conviction and the troublesome consequences that could result from such a ruling.

In order to ensure that you understand your defense options and how a DUI could affect you more heavily as a commercial driver, you may wish to consult with an experienced Florida attorney.

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Busciglio & Sheridan Law Group
3302 N. Tampa Street
Tampa, FL 33603

Phone: 813-302-1265
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