How Do DUI Laws Differ For Those Who Were Driving Under A Commercial License When They Were Charged?
A commercial driving license applies to operators of commercial vehicles like buses, trucks, and others. Compliance demands from holders of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) are higher compared to the regular driver’s license and this is because of the complications that can arise in the event of an accident.
Commercial driver’s license holders are held to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards. Whether a school bus driver or truck driver, the consequences are higher in the event of an accident and this necessitates stringent rules and guidelines to forestall extensive damages.
Taking into consideration the size of a commercial truck or the number of lives in a school bus, it becomes readily apparent why there are stricter rules for this class of drivers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (Fmcsa) Regulations And What It Means
FMCSA regulations bind commercial drivers and employers. The regulations regarding alcohol and drug use bind;
– Owners and lessors of commercial vehicles
– Supervisors who are in charge of assigning drivers to handle commercial vehicles
– Local, state and federal governments
– Motor carriers for hire
– Private carriers
– Churches, and
– Civic organizations
Blood Alcohol Limits
A non-commercial driver is strongly warned against drinking and driving. However, the state laws allow for as high as 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration limit. In the case of a commercial driver, the FMCSA regulations slash this accommodation further and set a limit of 0.04 percent BAC limit.
The 0.04 percent BAC limit is obtainable for most states across the United States. Further to promote the safety of the driver and other road users, the FMCSA regulations also prohibit commercial drivers from operating commercial vehicles in the space of four hours after consuming alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
Effects of commercial DUI
Commercial drivers who have been arrested for operating commercial vehicles while under the influence of intoxicating drugs or alcohol are made to go through similar criminal law procedures as a non-commercial driver that has been arrested for DUI offenses.
DUI lawyer representing clients in Boston reveals that in addition to lower BAC levels, a commercial driver who is found guilty and convicted for the crime of DUI may face a longer period of license suspension which robs such a driver of the ability to work.
Commercial driver’s license holders who are convicted for traffic violations other than parking offenses are also required to notify their employers within a period of 30 days from the offense. This notification is regardless of the vehicle the driver was operating as at the time of the offense.
This means that a truck driver who was cited for a traffic violation while driving his or her personal car will be required to inform his or her employer of the traffic violation. If such a personal escapade result in a DUI conviction, the employer is prohibited from hiring the driver for the period of his or her license suspension or restriction.
Clearly, the penalties associated with commercial DUI are higher and it is for good reasons. It is recommended that holders of commercial driver’s licenses hire experienced attorneys to represent them in their DUI cases.