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Your CDL and a DUI

For someone who drives a commercial vehicle, a Commercial Driver’s License is vital. A commercial driver’s livelihood depends on having that license and being able to drive. The consequences of a conviction for driving under the influence for the holder of a CDL can be devastating, far more so than for the average driver. The reason for this, in addition to the criminal consequences and potential loss of employment, is the disqualification of your commercial driver’s license.

Worse, you don’t even have to have been driving your big rig or bus while drunk. An arrest for Driving Under the Influence in your personal vehicle is reason enough for the state to disqualify your commercial driver’s license, possibly for years.

Pennsylvania’s limit for drunk driving for those holding a regular driver’s license is 0.08 percent Blood Alcohol Concentration. Anything above that is considered drunk driving. However, for the holder of a commercial driver’s license who was operating a commercial vehicle, that number drops to 0.04 percent. Additionally, the penalties for the holder of a commercial driver’s license are more severe than those for someone with a regular driver’s license. This is because driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 to 0.159 puts you in the highest tier of DUI, called “High Impairment.” This tier comes with the toughest penalties.

For a first-time DUI by a commercial driver’s license holder, the consequences range from two days to six months in jail, fines ranging from $500 to $5,000, suspension of your personal driver’s license for a year, and disqualification of your commercial driver’s license for a year. If your cargo was hazardous materials at the time of your DUI arrest, that disqualification is stretched to three years.

It doesn’t matter in which state you got your DUI, either. The majority of states in the U.S. are participants in the Driver’s License Compact, an agreement that states have to share traffic charges. This means that if you as a Pennsylvania resident get a DUI in Montana, that state will notify Pennsylvania of the charge, and you will face consequences at home, as well as in Montana.

DUI Defenses

Of course, these consequences will only take effect if you are convicted of DUI. With an aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who has received extensive training in DUI arrests, DUI science, and DUI defense, it’s possible to get those charges dismissed.

One of the first things an attorney will do is look at the results of your BAC testing. He will examine the administrator’s credentials and the maintenance and calibration record of the machine(s) involved. If either of those things are outdated, the results are unreliable and will not stand up in court.

You may Qualify for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition is a program for certain first-time DUI offenders. Also called ARD, successful completion of the program will allow your charges to be dropped and your conviction expunged from your criminal record. You will not have to tell your current or future employers about your DUI arrest. There are certain conditions that must be met for you to qualify for the program. Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition may not be appropriate for your case. Your experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney will review your case and explain the best options for you.

Are you a CDL holder? Have you been charged with Driving Under the Influence in or around the city of Pittsburgh? If so, you will need the services an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Logue Criminal Defense team has the know-how and dedication to represent you. Logue Law Group serves Pittsburgh, PA, West Virginia, and Ohio. For a free initial consultation with a dedicated, aggressive, and experienced Pittsburgh Criminal Defense lawyer from Logue Law Group, call 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805. If you prefer, we can be contacted online.

Don’t wait to call! If you delay hiring an attorney, it will be more difficult for you to retain your Commercial Driver’s License and keep your record clean. Call Logue Law Group today!

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