Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious offense if you have a commercial license. Therefore, as a commercial driver, you need to be aware of the severe consequences of a CDL DUI conviction. In a worst-case scenario, you may be disqualified from having a CDL in GA.
A CDL is more than a license to drive a commercial vehicle. It is your license to make a living as a driver and support yourself and your family.
We understand that the prospect of the loss or suspension of your CDL can cause you great anxiety. And we know that your livelihood, and the well-being of your family, will be foremost in your mind.
Truck Drivers Are Held to Higher Standard Than Other Motorists
As a commercial driver, you’re painfully aware of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) regulations. These rules apply to a wide variety of commercial drivers, including truckers, bus drivers, and tow truck drivers. Along with the number of hours your drive, and your need to maintain an accurate logbook, the FMCSA also sets rules about driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While most drivers are guilty of a DUI if their blood-alcohol content (BAC) is at 0.08% or more, the FMCSA and Georgia law impose a lower threshold on commercial truck drivers.
The rationale behind this higher standard is clear. When you’re operating a heavy vehicle that might contain passengers or hazardous cargo, a crash can have catastrophic effects. However, it’s easy to make a mistake, especially when the FMCSA limit is about two drinks for the average adult man.
Understanding a Georgia CDL DUI
If you are stopped for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) while operating a commercial vehicle, the DUI Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is 0.04%. Again, this BAC limit is half of the legal limit for non-commercial drivers. If you have two or three beers with dinner, you’ll probably exceed the Georgia CDL DUI limit. If you’re a smaller person, even less consumption can put you at risk of a commercial driver’s license DUI.
Should I Agree to a Blood-Alcohol Test During a CDL DUI Arrest?
If you’re arrested for a suspected commercial driver’s license DUI, the police officer will ask you to participate in blood-alcohol testing. While you can refuse the test, there are very serious ramifications to that decision. With a CDL the difference between failing the State’s test and refusing the State’s test is that after a Refusal you are not eligible to have your GA CDL reinstated for at least a year, and the driving ban includes non-commercial vehicles. This is the same penalty as a CDL DUI conviction. Before you decline a blood-alcohol test, make sure you clearly understand that you’re about to give up your CDL for at least a year – and maybe more.
Should you receive a second DUI conviction, or refuse to be tested a second time, then you risk a lifetime CDL ban. This can be enforced regardless of how long ago the first conviction was, or whether it was incurred in your personal vehicle.
What Happens if I’m Charged or Convicted of a Commercial Driver’s License DUI?
If you are charged with DUI, as a CDL holder your employment and livelihood are in jeopardy. If you’re convicted, you’ll also face more than the loss of your CDL. Your sentence might also include:
- Financial penalties and fines
- Drug and alcohol counseling
- Restrictive probation requirements
You also might find yourself facing personal injury lawsuits if your CDL DUI involved an injury accident.
And, even after you complete your sentence, you’ll have a commercial driver’s license DUI on your record. This can make it virtually impossible to find work as a truck driver or obtain affordable insurance coverage. Because of this, I urge you to seek immediate advice from a qualified and experienced DUI Defense Attorney ASAP! The sooner you have a skilled commercial driver’s license DUI lawyer at your side, the better your chances will be of avoiding a conviction.
Can I Get a CDL DUI for Drugged Driving?
While Georgia sets thresholds for drunk driving, the state has a zero-tolerance policy for drugged driving. If you are operating a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle while under the influence of illegal drugs or narcotics, you’ll likely face criminal charges.
It’s vital that you contact an experienced commercial driver’s license DUI lawyer as soon as possible if you are facing charges of drugged driving. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you might have strong defenses to your charges. For more information about drugged driving defenses, contact the George McCranie Law Firm for a confidential and free consultation.
A CDL DUI Lawyer Can Help You Build a Comprehensive Defense Strategy
If you or a loved one are facing Georgia DUI charges, don’t panic. Instead, contact an experienced CDL DUI lawyer for assistance. You’re innocent until proven guilty – and a skilled lawyer might help you identify legitimate defenses that help you maintain your CDL and freedom. These defenses might involve technical errors with the police’s blood-alcohol testing system, procedural issues, or innocence.
At the George McCranie Law Firm, we’ll listen to your story and treat you with respect. We carefully investigate our clients’ cases, looking for evidence that raises doubts about the prosecutor’s allegations. And we’ll give you practical advice that will help you make sound decisions about your case.
Schedule an Appointment With a Georgia CDL DUI Attorney
George McCranie is an experienced and knowledgeable DUI Defense attorney, who looks after the interests of commercial drivers. We have offices located in Douglas & Valdosta, GA and we pride ourselves in providing the highest level of professional legal counsel to our clients. If you have questions about CDL DUI in Georgia, call our offices today.