Your Commercial License and a DUI

If you are like many truck drivers, you prefer being on the road to sitting in an office. You may feel fortunate that you can support your family doing something you enjoy. The hours are long, and the pace can be grueling, but you may have your own ways to cope with these drawbacks.

However, if one of those coping strategies is the use of alcohol, you may be placing yourself and others in danger. Unlike driving a car while impaired, operating a vehicle that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds is a recipe for tragedy. This is why federal and Wisconsin laws regarding drunk driving are much stricter for the commercial vehicle industry.

A higher standard

Commercial vehicle drivers have much less leeway with the use of alcohol than those who do not drive for a living. Some of the major differences that you may face as a truck driver include the following:

  • The legal blood alcohol content limit for most drivers is .08, but you can only reach a .04 to be over the limit.
  • You may not drive your truck if you have had any alcohol in the past four hours.
  • A DUI can place you at risk of losing your commercial license even if the offense occurred while you were driving your personal vehicle.
  • A license suspension for a commercial driver is often longer than that for other drivers.

Since the public safety is at risk when commercial drivers are impaired, you can probably expect to undergo random screening for drugs and alcohol. If someone suspects you are drinking while on the job or if you have a DUI conviction in your past, you may be subject to these tests more frequently.

Take steps to protect your future.

A DUI conviction may cost you your job, especially since you can't drive on a suspended license. Even after your license is reinstated, you may have difficulty finding a trucking company who is willing to pay the insurance to have you behind the wheel of their rigs.

If you are facing charges of DUI, you have more than your license at risk. You may have your livelihood and your family's well-being on the line. If this is not your first offense, your situation may be too fragile for you to handle on your own. Having a skilled attorney on your side who has experience in complex DUI cases may provide you with a better opportunity for a more positive outcome.