Since commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are authorized to operate large commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and buses, they are held to higher standards on the road compared to civilian drivers. If a commercial driver is arrested for a DUI in Florida, not only does a conviction result in harsh criminal penalties such as jail time and fines, but it can also have a negative impact on their CDL and career.
According to Florida DUI laws, the legal limit for a commercial driver is .04 percent. In comparison, the legal limit for a civilian driver is .08 percent. A commercial driver can also be arrested for DUI if he/she is driving a motor vehicle if they appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs – without chemical testing.
If a CDL holder is convicted of a first-time DUI while operating a commercial motor vehicle, his/her commercial license will be disqualified for one year. However, if a driver is transporting hazardous materials at the time of a DUI arrest, then a conviction will result in a three-year CDL disqualification. Lastly, a second DUI conviction for a commercial driver will lead to permanent CDL disqualification.
If a commercial driver refuses to submit to a post-arrest chemical test (e.g., breath or blood test), a first-time refusal carries the loss of commercial driving privileges for one year. A second refusal will lead to permanent disqualification.
Commercial drivers are not eligible for a hardship license, which enables motorists convicted of DUI to drive for work purposes. Instead, they must wait for one year and then pay a fee to restore their CDL.
While you may regain your commercial driving privileges after serving your sentence, you may experience difficulties finding work since employers are reluctant to hire commercial drivers with a DUI conviction on their record. Without the means to earn a living, supporting yourself and your family can be extremely hard.
If you or a loved one is a commercial driver who has recently been arrested in Miami, let the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez protect your rights, reputation, and future. With more than 19 years of experience, including time spent as a state prosecutor, our Miami DUI defense attorney knows what it takes to obtain the most favorable results inside and outside the courtroom.
Contact us today at (305) 400-0074 for a free case review. Get a former prosecutor on your side!