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.
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 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”:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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* Some restrictions apply. Non-Criminal infractions only. Court costs additional, if any. Call for more information.
...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.
I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!
I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.
I was charged with a felony and facing the scary thought of losing my job, but thank you Attorney Steven Bell for helping me. Now I’m able to keep my job and take care of my family. I am truly amazed by your service, and you for understanding what I have to deal with. To me I’m very impressed by way you handled my case and was here to listen and make things OK!
Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!