Commercial Driver DUI
Professional and commercial drivers are held to a higher standard because they operate larger and more complex vehicles. These individuals must obtain a commercial driver license for delivering freight on tractor-trailers or transporting passengers on common carrier buses. When commercial drivers are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, they may lose not only their license but also their job. If you are facing drunk driving charges, consult with Nashville DUI lawyer Bernie McEvoy. He is experienced in handling commercial driver DUI cases and represents truck and bus drivers throughout Davidson County and Williamson County.Tennessee Commercial Driver DUI
Commercial motor vehicles may be used to transport individual passengers, haul goods and cargo, and carry hazardous materials safely over the roads. In Tennessee, a person must hold a commercial driver license to operate a commercial motor vehicle, which is generally defined as any vehicle or combination of vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds. However, a commercial driver license is also required to drive a school bus, operate a vehicle designed to carry more than 15 passengers, and transport hazardous materials, regardless of vehicle weight.
Accidents involving commercial motor vehicles pose a greater risk of serious or fatal injuries due to vehicle weight and size. As such, the legal standards for commercial drivers may be more demanding than those for typical drivers. Tennessee DUI laws, in particular, apply a lower blood alcohol threshold to drivers of commercial motor vehicles. While the blood alcohol limit for a “per se” DUI is 0.08 percent for standard drivers, it is lowered to 0.04 percent for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. Moreover, operating a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of any amount of drugs or controlled substance can lead to a commercial DUI charge. Refusing to submit to a breath or chemical test may be a violation of the implied consent law, which can result in license suspension. To understand the full consequences of a DUI charge for a commercial driver and how best to protect your legal rights, consult with an attorney experienced defending such offenses.Penalties for a Conviction
Persons with a commercial driver license generally will face more serious consequences than regular drivers for a DUI conviction, primarily because both their commercial and personal driver licenses may be suspended. Without a commercial driver license, they cannot legally operate commercial motor vehicles, which jeopardizes their work as professional or commercial drivers. For a first-time commercial DUI conviction, a defendant faces a minimum one-year suspension of their commercial driver license. If the DUI was committed while driving a commercial vehicle carrying hazardous materials, a conviction carries a minimum three-year license suspension. After a second commercial DUI conviction, the defendant may lose their commercial driver license from 10 years to life, regardless of how long ago the first commercial DUI occurred.
It is important to note that a commercial driver license may be suspended for any DUI conviction, even if it was committed in a personal vehicle. In addition, there is no restricted license available after a DUI suspension to drive a commercial motor vehicle under limited circumstances. Other penalties that may be imposed for a commercial DUI conviction include payment of fines and court costs, participation in a court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment program, and possible jail time, depending on the circumstances.Consult with a Nashville Lawyer Regarding a Commercial Driver DUI
If you have been arrested for a DUI, mounting a vigorous defense against the charges may help to avoid a conviction or commercial driver license suspension. Attorney Bernie McEvoy represents truck and bus drivers facing a commercial DUI or drugged driving charge in Davidson County and Williamson County, including the cities of Nashville and Franklin. Schedule a free consultation through our online contact form or call us at (615) 255-9595 during business hours or (615) 804-8779 on evenings and weekends to discuss your case.