Our country depends heavily on truckers and other commercial drivers to keep our economy, and life as we know it, up and running. Unfortunately, because of this, truckers are often under a great deal of stress to meet all their deadlines while driving late hours into the night. That said, truckers will sometimes make the mistake of turning to drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel to help them cope. As you know, this is a dangerous decision to make, but it’s not that uncommon. If you were driving a commercial vehicle and were arrested for being under the influence of alcohol, you’re most likely wondering whether your DUI can impact your right to continue making a living as a commercial vehicle driver. Please continue reading and speak with a knowledgeable Pittsburgh CDL DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of George Heym to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What BAC do I need to be charged with a DUI while operating a commercial vehicle?
The first thing you should understand is that the standard is higher for commercial drivers, in that “standard,” non-commercial drivers must have a BAC of .08% to be charged with a DUI, while commercial vehicle operators can be charged with a DUI even with a BAC of .02% (if they drive a school bus) and .04% (if they drive a commercial truck).
Will I lose my CDL (commercial driver’s license) if I’m convicted of a DUI?
In short, yes, you will, but the duration of your license suspension, as well as the severity of other penalties, will depend primarily on whether this is your first or second offense. For a first-offense DUI with a CDL, you will likely face the following penalties:
- A suspension of your driver’s license for up to 12 months
- A suspension of your commercial driver’s license for one year if you’re found guilty of another “serious traffic infraction” while operating the commercial vehicle
- Anywhere between two days and six months in jail
- A fine ranging from $500 to $5,000
What happens if I get a second DUI with my commercial driver’s license in Pennsylvania?
For a second DUI with a commercial driver’s license, you will have your CDL permanently revoked, meaning you can no longer drive a commercial vehicle for a living. You will also face a 12-month suspension of your regular driver’s license, a $5,000 fine, and anywhere between one and six months in jail.
Rather obviously, a DUI with a CDL can have a massive impact on your life, which is why you need a seasoned lawyer in your corner immediately after you’re charged with a DUI. Contact The Law Offices of George Heym for help today.