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What Consequences Does a Commercial Driver Face for DUI?

Accusations of driving under the influence (DUI) offenses lead to serious consequences for all sorts of drivers in Pennsylvania. Those with commercial driver’s licenses are typically subject to more scrutiny of their behavior at the wheel than those driving a vehicle for personal transportation purposes. When in control of a commercial vehicle, they could face prison and large fines.

The exact penalties involved in a drunk driving case will depend on the situation and someone’s driving record. A professional with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is subject to a very strict limit for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04% or higher could face arrest and prosecution. They could also get arrested for having a BAC of 0.08% or higher in their own vehicle.

In either case, they could face consequences that could affect their lives and careers. What happens when someone with a CDL pleads guilty to a DUI?

They become ineligible for a commercial license

You have to have an excellent driving history to maintain a CDL in Pennsylvania and to maintain eligibility with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Drivers don’t have to get arrested while on the job for a drunk driving charge to affect their employment. A DUI that happens on your own time can also cost you your CDL for at least a year, if not longer, depending on the circumstances and your driving record.

They risk jail time and large fines

The exact penalties that a judge decides to impose in a DUI case will reflect a driver’s history, the outcome of their actions, and the risk they create for others. Commercial drivers could very well find themselves facing the maximum penalties imposed by a judge who wants to drive home the risks involved in drinking before driving a commercial vehicle. A judge can sentence you to as much as five years in state custody depending on the details of your situation.

A strong defense will protect you and your career. The temporary inconvenience of court when accused of drunk driving as a commercial transportation professional. The future of your career may hang in the balance when you stand accused of a DUI offense as someone with a CDL. Fighting back could preserve your freedom and your commercial license so that you can continue to earn a living.

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