You drive for a living, and you love it. You worked hard to get your commercial driver’s license, and you want to do everything you can to keep it. Unfortunately, you have found yourself facing a DUI charge in the state of Georgia for an incident in either your personal or professional vehicle. If convicted, you may lose your CDL and ability to drive professionally for good. What can you do?
The state and federal governments hold commercial drivers to an extremely high standard when it comes to safe driving. They do not tolerate driving while impaired when on the clock. Even when off the clock, this is something about which CDL holders need to be careful. If charged with DUI, you do not have to sit back and let prosecuting attorneys decide your fate. There may be a way to fight the charge that would allow you to keep your license.
Commercial drivers must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations regarding impaired driving. Currently, a CDL holder found driving with a blood alcohol level of .04 percent while on duty may face charges and, possibly, conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol. This BAC limit is half the standard limit for other drivers and CDL holders when they are not on duty. Commercial drivers also may not drive for work within four hours of consuming alcohol. Who must abide by these rules?
- Those who own commercial vehicles
- Those who lease commercial vehicles
- Civil organizations
- Those who give out driver assignments
- Private motor carriers
- For-hire motor carriers
- Vehicle operators
Failure to adhere to FMCSA regulations can mean the loss of driving privileges, drivers and their employers having to pay fines, and penalties to the government. In other words, it is a big deal before criminal consequences even enter the picture.
Fighting DUI charges
If charged with DUI, it is necessary for prosecuting attorneys to prove your impairment at the time of your arrest. If they succeed in this and you ultimately face a conviction, consequences may include:
- Jail time
- Loss of professional license
- Loss of personal license
- Loss of employment
To achieve a conviction, the prosecution usually needs to show that you failed valid sobriety tests — valid being the key word here. The problem with sobriety testing, in all of its forms, is that it is prone to human or mechanical error. It may be possible to fight the charge by showing the sobriety test results in your case are flawed. Other defense options may be available, depending on the facts of your case.