Driving under the influence is always a serious offense. However, if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the law is even harsher. You, therefore, need to be aware of all the consequences you could face if you get convicted of a CDL DUI. As a commercial driver, your license isn’t merely a privilege. It directly contributes to your ability to provide for yourself and your family. If you get convicted, not only could you be facing a range of criminal penalties, but you could lose your license permanently. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the things you need to know, according to our Atlanta DUI lawyers.
Standards to Which Commercial Drivers Are Held
Whether you drive a bus, a truck or another commercial vehicle, you’re no doubt aware that you’re governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations. You know that you need to keep an accurate logbook and keep track of the hours you drive and when you stop to rest. However, you also need to keep in mind that the FMCSA has rules about driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Most drivers can be found guilty of a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or higher. However, both federal laws and Georgia state laws set a lower threshold for commercial truck drivers. Your limit is 0.04 percent. If you have two or three beers, you’ll likely be over the legal limit if you’re an average-sized man. If you’re a woman or a smaller man, it could take even less to push your BAC over the legal limit.
You should also keep in mind that you can be arrested for a DUI if you’re under the influence of drugs. There’s no threshold relating to the use of drugs. If you’re found with any amount of illegal drugs in your system, you’ll face criminal charges.
It’s clear why these laws are in place. Commercial drivers carry multiple passengers or flammable or otherwise dangerous cargo. You also operate a vehicle that larger and heavier than most of the other vehicles on the road. These factors mean that if you get involved in a crash, it’s likely to have catastrophic effects. If you break the law and you get caught, you need to contact an Atlanta DUI lawyer.
Consequences of Refusing a Blood-Alcohol Test
If you get arrested on suspicion of a CDL DUI, the officer will ask you to submit to a breath test. Technically, you can refuse but you will have to face the consequences. Not only will your license be suspended but you won’t be able to have it reinstated for at least a year. If that’s not bad enough, you’ll also be banned from driving using your non-commercial license. This means you’ll suffer the same consequences as if you were convicted of a CDL DUI. Before you decide to refuse a test, you have to think about this.
If you refuse to get tested a second time or you’re convicted twice, you could lose your commercial license forever. It doesn’t matter how much time passed between the two incidents or whether one involved your personal vehicle.
Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Georgia
If you’re convicted of a DUI, you’ll have a lot more to worry about than the loss of your license. You could be sentenced to:
- Jail time
- Alcohol or drug counseling
- Probation requirements
If you were involved in an accident that resulted in injuries to someone else, you could be facing additional charges and penalties. You could also be named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit.
Even after you complete your sentence, the DUI will remain on your record. This will make it very difficult to get work, especially as a driver. Getting insurance coverage at a reasonable rate may also be challenging.
Given all these consequences, you need to do everything you can to avoid conviction. As soon as possible after your arrest, you need to contact an experienced Atlanta DUI attorney. The sooner you get legal representation, the better it will be for you. There is simply too much at stake to waste time.
Contact Howard & Arca DUI Lawyers Today!
If you’re a commercial driver facing a DUI charge in Georgia, you need to seek legal representation. The charge you’re facing is serious but it’s not insurmountable. You’re still innocent until proven guilty. Contact our firm and talk to a competent DUI attorney in Atlanta. We’ll thoroughly review the charges and look for all potential defenses. We’ll also advise you on how to make smart decisions regarding your case. Book a consultation today.