The standards for commercial vehicle drivers are much higher than the standard for drivers of passenger vehicles. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instituted the commercial driver's license (CDL) program in 1986 in order to make roads and highways safer for everyone. Because commercial vehicles are incredibly large, the damage they can cause in the event of an accident is greater. Knowing this the FMCSA instituted that CDL holders have less room for error when it comes to blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you are a CDL driver, you only have to have a BAC of .04 percent or higher to be arrested for a DUI.
The consequences of a DUI are also more severe for commercial vehicle drivers. This is because driving isn't just something that gets them from point A to point B; driving is their livelihood. If you are a commercial vehicle driver and you have been arrested for a DUI, your license will be automatically suspended unless you contest your drunk driving arrest. With help from the right Tampa DUI defense attorney, you could not only get your CDL back, but your livelihood back as well.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence either while driving your commercial vehicle or not, you are required to tell your employer within 30 days. This goes for any type of traffic violation or related criminal offense. This means that even a DUI arrest while you were not on duty and even while you were driving your own personal vehicle could put your CDL at risk. Regardless of the circumstances, if you are a CDL holder, you must tell your employer within 30 days of your conviction. If your license has already been suspended, then you are required to notify your employer by the end of the following business day (after you received the written notice of suspension or revocation).
If you already have a DUI on your record and are wondering if you can gain employment as a commercial truck driver, it is possible. However, it is important to understand that all potential employees when applying for a CDL job must provide employment history within the past ten years. If you were arrested for a DUI within the past ten years, this would likely appear on your employment history.
There are different and distinct categories of traffic offenses, each of which affects a driver's CDL status differently. For example, there are major offenses, serious traffic offenses and highway grade crossing violations. Listed below are the corresponding penalties:
To learn about the other penalties you might face following a CDL DUI, contact our firm. Taracks & Associates have years of experience and success in the field of drunk driving defense and can assist you if you have been arrested. For a free evaluation of your case from a skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney at the firm, call today.