If you drive a truck or any other commercial vehicle for a living, a conviction on an impaired driving charge could suspend or end your career. In Florida, there are many good people who support themselves and their families by driving commercial vehicles, even though the work and hours are less than ideal. Do not let a DUI end your professional career and affect your source of income.
If you are a CDL (commercial driver’s license) holder who is facing criminal charges for driving while impaired, you have the right to defend yourself.
Commercial drivers must submit to drug and alcohol testing
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has set very strict safety guidelines to which commercial drivers must adhere. One such safety requirement is that CDL holders must submit to mandatory alcohol and drug testing. The completion of these tests occurs at pretty frequent intervals.
Along with requiring drug and alcohol testing, the FMCSA has set certain limits for what are acceptable blood alcohol levels. This level is lower than the standard for non-commercial drivers.
I failed an alcohol test, now what?
Whether your test was part of a routine traffic stop or per your FMCSA requirement, if your results show a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .04 or higher, you will be considered legally intoxicated. While you won’t be arrested if this test was completed per your job requirement, you will be arrested and charged if such test results come as part of a traffic stop or after an accident. If convicted you could face:
- License suspension
- Payment of fines
- Jail time
- Court ordered rehabilitation
A positive test, regardless of how it comes, could also result in the loss of employment.
Can I fight a DUI charge?
Yes, you can and you should. According to the FMCSA, it is illegal for employers to employ drivers whose licenses have been either suspended or revoked. As this is one of the consequences of a DUI conviction, fighting the charge is a must in order for you to maintain your position and protect your livelihood.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you work your way through the criminal court system as you seek the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Assistance can also be provided in seeking to have your CDL reinstated if the DUI charge resulted in a loss of driving privileges.