What is the penalty for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol if I hold a CDL?
Commercial driving is big business in the state of Arizona. Many people move to Arizona to secure a career as a truck or other commercial vehicle driver. Commercial drivers in the state of Arizona need to be especially vigilant to avoid ever driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While being convicted of a DUI can be devastating for any driver, commercial truck drivers may just watch their career and livelihood disappear along with their DUI conviction.
The Legal Limit is Lower for Commercial Drivers
For normal drivers in Arizona, the legal limit is .08%. However, this limit is set lower for commercial drivers. Commercial drivers are said to have higher safety expectations due to their responsibility to the public when operating large vehicles on Arizona roadways. As such, in Arizona, the blood alcohol content limit for commercial drivers is .04%.
If you are driving a commercial vehicle, you can be arrested should you blow over a .04% on a breathalyzer test. If you hold a CDL but were operating your vehicle at the time of your arrest, then the .08% BAC will apply. Drivers who are convicted of a first offense DUI will receive a one-year suspension of their commercial driver’s license, regardless of what vehicle you were operating at the time of your arrest. Additionally, your license will be suspended for between 30 and 90 days.
Should you be convicted for a second offense DUI, your commercial driver’s license will be permanently revoked. If you had a previous DUI conviction, a second conviction once you hold your CDL will still equate to permanent suspension of your CDL. Most employers will terminate a driver with a DUI on their record, which could leave you struggling to maintain your living expenses.
With the stakes so high, you must secure the representation of an aggressive and knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer who will fight the DUI charges you face. Though a DUI for commercial drivers can prove damaging, there are many potential defenses your attorney could raise to potentially help you defeat the charges.