A commercial DUI can have incredibly severe long-term consequences that can derail your future and have a substantial impact on your life. There are many things that you need to understand about a commercial DUI in order to make the best decision for your situation after you have been arrested for a DUI. If you have been charged with a commercial DUI, it is extremely important to obtain effective legal counsel to help protect your future throughout your commercial DUI case.
Commercial DUI BAC Levels
Utah changed its DUI laws fairly recently. They reduced the .08% BAC limit to .05%, making the laws some of the strictest in the nation. However, this BAC level applies to non-commercial drivers, not drivers that hold a commercial driver’s license. For CDL holders, the BAC limit is actually .04%, which can be very easy to reach. Something as simple as a single drink can result in a .04% BAC. The consequences of a commercial DUI may depend on the results of the test. For example, if your BAC level is much higher than .04%, the CDL may be revoked completely. Understanding the differences between non-commercial DUIs and commercial DUIs will help you to protect yourself.
A Higher Safety Standard
Driving a commercial vehicle can be a very dangerous undertaking. These vehicles are extremely large and weigh a substantial amount. Traffic accidents that involve commercial vehicles often have the highest likelihood of fatalities. Because there are many extreme dangers that come with operating commercial vehicles, commercial drivers are held to much stricter requirements for safe driving. For example, they are required to take breaks on a regular business and follow various guidelines. This also means that commercial drivers will see much harsher penalties for having a DUI. These standards are in place for the safety of everyone, which is why commercial DUIs can have a substantial impact on any individual’s future.
Penalties of a Commercial DUI
Commercial DUIs often come with harsher punishments than non-commercial DUIs. For example, fines for commercial DUIs are generally higher than fines for non-commercial DUIs. However, there are many other factors that will be at play to determine penalties. Repeat offenses tend to come with more severe consequences. For example, a second commercial DUI almost always results in the permanent loss of a CDL. Generally, commercial DUIs can come with many consequences. Probation is often a consequence of a commercial DUI. In addition to a 1 year suspension of a CDL, commercial DUIs often result in an additional suspension of driving privileges for non-commercial vehicles. The offender may be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in their vehicle. Community service can also be a result of being charged with a commercial DUI.
Anytime you Drive
Many people don’t realize that CDL holders are always held to the standards involved with operating a commercial vehicle. These guidelines aren’t loosened when they drive their personal vehicles. So while an individual without a commercial license can have a .04% BAC level without getting a DUI, an individual with a CDL will be charged with a commercial DUI. It is extremely easy to hit .04% when drinking, so CDL holders must be particularly careful whenever they are driving.
Protect your Future
The vast majority of companies will fire a driver that has a DUI. Commercial DUIs require drivers to notify their employers about the DUI charge. The CDL is always suspended when you are charged with a DUI, so even if the company doesn’t outright fire the employee, they won’t be allowed to use them as a driver until their CDL suspension is over. In most situations, an individual will be unable to find future work as a driver if they have previously been charged with a DUI. The only way to keep your CDL and, likely, your job is to fight the initial DUI charge. It is crucial to consult with a lawyer when you are charged with a commercial DUI.
Insurance rates will increase a substantial amount when an individual is charged with a commercial DUI. This can be incredibly difficult to deal with. This is just one of the negative consequences that tend to come along with DUI charges. These increased insurance rates are likely to impact your life for a long time. Fighting the charge of a commercial DUI is the only way to prevent an increase in insurance rates after you have been arrested for a DUI.
Defenses Against a Commercial DUI
Due to the impact a commercial DUI can have on your future, it is crucial to ensure that you build a solid defense for your commercial DUI case. In some situations, the accuracy of a test may be impacted by your diet or taking certain medications. Due to the low BAC levels involved in a commercial DUI, it is often extremely effective to argue regarding the accuracy of the tests. These very small alcohol levels tend to increase the likelihood of errors with the breath or blood tests that an individual takes.
Another possible defense is to argue that the test was delayed by the arrested officers. This is sometimes done because the blood alcohol content tends to increase when more time goes past, even though the individual may not necessarily be getting more intoxicated. Your attorney may be able to help you argue that the traffic stop or arrest was unlawful.
Commercial DUIs result in long-term consequences to your life. If you hold a CDL, it is likely that you make your living from driving commercial vehicles. When you are charged with a commercial DUI, you may lose your job completely and find it much more difficult to find another job in the same field. At the Rocky Mountain Law Office, we offer services in the field of DUI law to help protect your future throughout your DUI case. To learn more about the importance of legal services during a DUI case, contact our experienced team at the Rocky Mountain Law Office today!