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What happens if you’re arrested for a DUI in a commercial car?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2020 | DUI, Traffic Stops & Violations

Driving under the influence (DUI) is dangerous and it’s against Virginia law. Individuals who are charged with drunk driving face serious penalties if they’re convicted of such a crime. Individuals with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) are held to even higher standards. They can lose their jobs if they’re convicted of a DUI.

Commercial drivers are different from other motorists in that they drive their company’s vehicle as part of their job. They can jeopardize their company’s reputation and profits if an accident occurs. Plus, commercial vehicles have the potential to cause a lot more damage than a regular passenger car if they’re involved in a wreck.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the movement of anyone who drives professionally. The “impaired” blood alcohol content (BAC) for commercial drivers is set at .04%. This is half the legal limit of non-commercial drivers. FMCSA regulations also prohibit commercial drivers from operating a commercial vehicle within four hours of having consumed alcohol. Plus, these professional drivers are subject to random drug testing. This almost always occurs after an accident and before an employee can return to work.

Any instance in which a commercial driver refuses drug testing is taken by the FMCSA to essentially be an admission of guilt. Any commercial driver that’s found guilty of a DUI faces a longer suspension of their license than what a non-commercial driver would receive.

All CDL drivers are required to notify their employers of any DUI conviction within 30 days of such a decision having been rendered. Companies are prohibited by the FMCSA from employing drivers for the duration of any license restriction.

If you’ve been charged with DUI and have a commercial license, then you may not only be facing having your freedom of movement restricted, but you may also face losing your livelihood as well. It’s when the stakes are this high that you should consult with a traffic violations attorney here in Manassas who will advocate for you in hopes of preserving your freedom and career.


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