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How Does a DUI Impact a Commercial Driver?

What about a DUI with a Commercial License?

While a driving under the influence infraction is always problematic, it is especially challenging for drivers who operate a commercial vehicle.  For commercial drivers, operating a commercial vehicle is not only a means of travel but also a means of employment.  When there is any type of driving infraction for a commercial driver there is a lot at stake.  Below is a brief description of how commercial drivers need to be aware of the regulations regarding driving under the influence charges with their commercial license.

How is it different than normal DUI?

A commercial DUI is quite a bit different than a traditional DUI. One of the main differences is the harsher consequences for the driver. First, there is a zero blood alcohol content requirement. That means that even if a driver is below the legal limit of .08 they are still required to blow a .00 to be in compliance with the law. Second, drivers with a commercial license will also have more costly fees as a result of their driving offense. In traditional DUIs the individual may not have to pay a fee, but with commercial DUIs the fees are much more costly and guaranteed to be in place. Third, commercial drivers are also at risk of losing their employment. Because the offense happened in a commercial vehicle, often owned by an employer, the driver has to inform the employer of the offense. Depending on how the employer responds, the commercial driver may lose their job, lose wages and lose the ability to travel.

Why are Commercial Drivers held to Higher Standard?

Because of the different licensing requirements, there is a higher standard and expectation that drivers must adhere to. Drivers with commercial licenses are held to this higher standard because of the types of vehicles they drive. Long-haul trucks, trucks with flatbed trailers, passenger vans, and other types of commercial vehicles are more dangerous on the road. This is because of their size and weight. These trucks are more difficult to maneuver and harder to operate in inclement weather. The drivers of these types of vehicles need to take extra steps to ensure safety each time they get behind the wheel. As a result, it is critical that commercial drivers are aware of this additional responsibility on the road and how the law will treat them in the event of an incident.

In conclusion, drivers who operate commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard both on the road and in the courts. It is critical that these drivers are aware of the DUI laws and their rights in the legal system. If a commercial driver receives a DUI while operating a commercial vehicle they need to seek counsel from an experienced DUI attorney. While a commercial DUI is more challenging than a traditional DUI, we can still work to help you and represent your case.  

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