The Strong Defense You Deserve Against Criminal Charges

What to know when facing DUI charges as a commercial carrier

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2021 | DUI

Impaired driving is dangerous, no matter whether someone is operating a personal vehicle or a commercial one. However, federal and state regulators hold commercial drivers to higher standards than other motorists.

Our state imposes a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration on any of-age motorist in this state. It drops to 0.04% for individuals possessing a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This index aligns with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limit. 

Penalties you face for impaired driving as a CDL license holder

Any motorist, commercial or otherwise, is subject to having their license suspended, mandatory fines, and installing an ignition interlock device on their vehicle here upon their arrest and conviction of DUI charges in Virginia. A jail sentence is generally reserved for repeat offenders but may be imposed upon first-time offenders charged with aggravated offenses or additional charges. 

Commercial carriers must abstain from taking the wheel during the four hours following their consumption of alcohol. There are also some other requirements that commercial carriers must abide by and also penalties that they face that deviate between your regular everyday motorist and commercial carriers, such as:

  • Longer CDL driver’s license suspensions
  • Mandatory obligation to submit to alcohol and drug testing when there’s reasonable suspicion of intoxication
  • A requirement for CDL operators to notify their employers of any drunk driving conviction within 30 days of it occurring

FMCSA regulations also prohibit commercial carriers from employing drivers convicted of DUIs until they’ve completed their sentence (and their license has been reinstated). 

Do enhanced CDL drunk driving penalties apply to you?

The FMCSA classifies the following types of motorists as commercial operators: 

  • For-hire private or government motor carriers
  • Anyone operating vehicles on behalf of a civic organization or church
  • Those who operate, own or lease commercial vehicles

It can be unnerving when the money you count on to support your lifestyle is no longer available due to your arrest on DUI charges. You’ll want to aggressively fight the charges you face. This is key to being able to return to your role in the end.