Most people know that the legal limit for drunk driving is .08. Every state pretty much follows this rule. This means, if your blood alcohol content is .08 or higher, you can be arrested and charged with DUI.
What a lot of people don’t know is that the law is different for commercial drivers. If you hold your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and get stopped by the cops, the law is a lot stricter. Not only are the laws stricter, but you’ll also face much more serious penalties.
Anyone who is arrested for DUI should call a DUI lawyer in Atlanta. This is even more true for commercial drivers. Not only is your personal license and liberty at risk, but so is your livelihood. It’s definitely not something that you want to handle by yourself.
Your lawyer will do his best to get the charges reduced or dismissed. However, if the evidence against you is strong, you’ll face an uphill battle. The courts don’t look fondly at commercial drivers who decide to drink and drive. You can bet there will be no leniency when it comes to your DUI case.
How is the Law Different for Commercial Drivers?
As we mentioned earlier, the legal limit for normal drivers in Georgia is .08. When it comes to commercial drivers, Georgia is stricter than many other states. For commercial drivers, any BAC of .04 or more will be considered DUI.
This is only half of that allowed for personal drivers. This is because commercial drivers pose such a great risk to other drivers. Trucking accidents are some of the most serious accidents on the road. A truck accident that involves a drunk driver can be deadly. This is why the state has decided to take such a hard stance on commercial drivers charged with DUI.
If you’re in your personal vehicle, the .08 legal limit will apply. However, the stricter penalties for a commercial driver will still apply. So will the risk of losing your job.
How Stiff Are the Penalties for a Commercial Driver Convicted of DUI?
If you have your CDL and are arrested for DUI in Georgia, you’re going to face some pretty stiff penalties. These penalties are much greater than they are for a personal driver. This has to do with the State’s interest in discouraging commercial drivers from drinking and driving.
The penalties for DUI in Georgia for a commercial driver include:
- Fines between $300-$1,000
- Jail from 1 day up to 1 year
- 40 hours of community service
- Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program
- Clinical evaluation and treatment
- Up to 12 month’s probation
You’re also going to face additional penalties as a commercial driver.
- Your personal driver’s license will be suspended
- Your CDL will be suspended or revoked
- You may be terminated from your job
Your DUI lawyers in Atlanta will fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed. The same defenses will apply for you as they do for other drivers.
What are the Defenses to DUI for Commercial Drivers?
Your Atlanta DUI lawyer will work with the prosecutor to get your charged dismissed or reduced. Depending on how strong the State’s evidence is, this may be possible. Some of the things that make your case harder to get dismissed include:
- Your BAC is well over the .04 or .08 limit
- You refused to complete the field sobriety test
- You refuse to take the breathalyzer
- You have been convicted of DUI before
- You were in an accident at the time of the DUI
- You refused to cooperate with the police
The prosecutor isn’t going to be willing to work with your lawyer if you meet any of these criteria.
Even if they refused to dismiss or reduce your charges, there are still defenses your DUI lawyer in Georgia can raise. These defenses include:
- You weren’t driving at the time of your arrest
- The traffic stop was unlawful
- There was an illegal search and seizure
- They didn’t read your Miranda rights
- The field sobriety test wasn’t conducted fairly
- You were under the influence of a legal prescription medication
- You were sick or suffering from a mental or physical condition at the time of the arrest
Any of these things can help get your charges dismissed or reduced.
Call and Speak with an Experienced DUI Attorney in Atlanta
If you’re a commercial driver and you’ve been charged with DUI, you’ll be facing some serious penalties. You’re going to need a respected criminal defense lawyer in Atlanta. Call today and schedule your initial FREE consultation. The consequences are way too high to try to handle this yourself.