Commercial Driving DUI
A driving under the influence conviction can have a serious impact on anyone’s life. However, no one has their lives so dramatically effected by DUI charges other than commercial drivers. Those holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) can have their license suspended or even revoked entirely because of DUI charges or refusals.
In addition to losing their livelihood, commercial drivers face the same statutory penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Commercial drivers are also much more likely to be charged or have their license taken for a DUI arrest since the legal limit for commercial drivers is much lower than standard DUI offenders. If you or someone you know has been charged with a commercial DUI, then it’s imperative you seek an experienced attorney.
DUI Defense Attorney for Commercial Drivers in West Palm Beach, FL
Are you a commercial driver who has been arrested for allegedly drunk driving in Florida? Then you may be in need of experienced legal counsel. Your job security and career are on the line so we recommend you find an attorney with the knowledge and resources needed for your case.
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. have been practicing in Florida’s court rooms for collectively 20 years. We have an in-depth understanding of DUI law and want to utilize this information for your case. Call us now at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation free. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach county area including Boca Raton and Palm Beach.
Overview of Commercial DUI in FL
- Florida DUI Laws for Commerical Driver License (CDL) Holders;
- Refusing to Breathalyzer or DUI Testing as a CDL Driver;
- Penalties for CDL DUI in Florida
- Additional Resources
Florida DUI Laws for Commercial Driver License (CDL) Holders
Florida has specific DUI laws for commercial drivers. The reasoning for this is that CDL holders have a responsibility to their employer and the road to drive clean without substances. A CDL driver who is under the influence could be an extreme threat to the general public because of the size of the load or size of their vehicle. For these reasons, Florida has implemented stricter DUI regulations for commercial drivers.
In Florida, a “commercial vehicle” is any “self-propelled or towed vehicle used on public highways in commence to transport passengers or cargo, if such vehicle”:
- Has a weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more;
- Is designed to transport more than 15 passengers including the driver; or
- Used to transport materials found to be hazardous for the purpose of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act
Normally, a person is arrested for DUI if they have a blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) of .08 or higher. Commercial drivers, however, have a different legal limit of .04 BAC. So, if a CDL driver has a result of .04 BAC or higher they will be charged with a DUI. This means commercial drivers can face DUI charges for consuming very little alcohol.
Refusing to Breathalyzer or DUI Testing as a CDL Driver
Many attorneys advise drivers to not submit to breathalyzer, blood analysis or urinalysis when pulled over for DUI. This is because the consequences for refusing chemical DUI testing are usually less harsh than a DUI conviction. Unfortunately, it’s a different story for CDL drivers.
Commercial drivers who refuse DUI chemical tests will automatically be disqualified from using their license for one year. A second refusal will result in you being permanently disqualified form operating a commercial motor vehicle. Submitting and failing a chemical DUI test will also lead to a one-year disqualification.
Penalties for CDL DUI in Florida
Commercial drivers will also have to face the statutory penalties associated with driving under the influence (DUI). A conviction for driving under the influence can result in:
- Minimum Fine of $500 and a maximum fine of no more than $1,000;
- Driver’s license revocation for a minimum of 6 months;
- Ten-day impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle used;
- Completion of a 12-hour DUI Substance Abuse Course;
- Completion of a psychosocial evaluation to determine if treatment is needed;
- Completion of any recommended substance abuse treatment;
- 50 hours of community service; and
- Up to six months in jail
The most daunting aspect of a DUI conviction is the threat to your livelihood. Commercial drivers who are convicted of Dui will have their license disqualified for up to one year with no eligibility for a hardship license. If you were transporting hazardous materials during the offense, then the disqualification is three years. A second DUI conviction will result in you being permanently ineligible to operate a commercial vehicle again.
Florida DUI Laws – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes to learn more about driving under the influence laws. Access the site to learn the penalties, diversion programs, elements and other important information concerning DUI.
FMCSA — The FMCSA is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry. Visit this website to read about different FMCSA regulations, including civil penalties, petitions for reconsideration and exemptions.
CDL DUI Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL
If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI as a CDL driver, then it’s vital you have legal counsel. For a skilled and resourceful attorney contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our criminal defense attorneys will do whatever possible to fight your charges.
Call us now at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation free. We want to sit with you and discuss your charges in detail. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach and Boca Raton.