Commercial drivers are a crucial part of the American economy, especially in a world where Covid and other challenges prevent easy or regular access to stores. More people than ever are doing the majority of their shopping online, and the significant supply disruptions that occur when truckers are overworked or unavailable attest to the importance of these jobs.
Although commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are essential to helping our daily lives continue normally, they are human just like everyone else and sometimes make serious mistakes like drinking or taking drugs before driving. A DUI on a commercial driver’s license can have serious consequences, to say nothing of what can happen when a big rig driver loses control of his truck because he is not thinking clearly. If you are facing DUI charges on your CDL, get help from an aggressive criminal defense attorney right away.
The Legal Alcohol Limit Is Lower for CDL Drivers
While the legal alcohol limit is .08 for standard drivers and even for Uber and Lyft drivers, CDL drivers are restricted to a blood alcohol limit of just .04. For drivers, especially female drivers, this can be as few as two drinks. This means that even if a driver does not feel drunk, he or she may still be over the legal limit for CDL drivers.
Because of the increased size of their vehicles and the subsequent increase of potential danger on the road, CDL drivers also face more severe penalties for DUI convictions than typical drivers. Getting convicted of a DUI for the first time allows for a year-long license suspension, which may be increased to three years if the driver is operating a vehicle that contains hazardous waste. Further DUI offenses allow for a permanent revocation of a CDL, although some drivers may be able to have their license reinstated after waiting 10 years and completing an alcohol awareness course. Unfortunately, for many CDL drivers, 10 years is far too long to recover from the economic damage that the loss of their professional license can cause, even if their criminal record does not stop companies from hiring them.
Crucially, CDL drivers must also be aware that the legal limits on their blood alcohol content – and the potential punishments that apply to driving under the influence – are enforceable even when a driver is not driving professionally when the DUI occurs.
Meet With a Joliet, IL Commercial Driver’s License DUI Defense Attorney
Getting caught driving under the influence with a commercial driver’s license can end a promising career and put a good person in a seriously difficult situation. At McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC, we know that even the best of us make mistakes and we believe that a mistake should not define your life or career forever. For the best criminal defense available, call a Will County commercial driver’s license DUI defense attorney. We offer free consultations and are available for jail visits and bond meetings. Call us today at 815-727-0100.