Are you a commercial driver in North Carolina? Whether you’re behind the wheel of a big rig, delivery truck, or any other type of commercial vehicle, it’s essential to be aware of the serious DUI effects on a CDL license.
In this blog post, we’ll explain the most common consequences of this offense on your commercial driving license (CDL). And, if you get pulled over and charged, remember that an experienced Asheville DUI defense lawyer is always ready to help you!
North Carolina DUI Laws Are Harsh for Drivers with a Commercial License
North Carolina takes DUI offenses very seriously, especially when it comes to drivers with a commercial license. The state’s laws are designed to ensure the safety of everyone on the road by imposing strict penalties for those found guilty of driving under the influence.
One important thing to note is that the legal BAC level for commercial drivers is lower than the standard value – 0.04, instead of 0.08. It leads to an automatic suspension of driving privileges for 30 days and a 1-year prohibition of driving any commercial vehicle.
These are harsh and complex penalties, so you need expert guidance and knowledge of both traffic laws and specific regulations pertaining to CDL holders. An experienced Asheville DUI lawyer will assess every aspect of your case—such as Breathalyzer test results and field sobriety tests—to build a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.
CDL Suspension Applies Even If You Were Pulled Over in a Personal or Non-Commercial Vehicle
If you hold a commercial driver’s license and get charged with DUI in North Carolina, the consequences of driving under the influence can be severe. Moreover, even if you were pulled over while driving your personal vehicle or a non-commercial vehicle, your CDL is still at risk of suspension.
The reason for this is that North Carolina considers your CDL as an extension of your privilege to drive any type of vehicle on its roads. So, when you are convicted of a DUI or DWI offense, whether it occurred while operating a commercial vehicle or not, both your regular driver’s license and CDL are subject to suspension.
There Are Severe Consequences Even for Driving While Impaired
Some drivers wrongly believe that driving while impaired (DWI) is a lesser offense than DUI. This is absolutely wrong. Police officers will pull over any driver showing signs of impairment, be it as a result of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication.
Even if you are impaired because you took an over-the-counter cold medicine, you may still get a one-year CDL suspension – even if it is your first offense.
Given the serious nature of these consequences, it is crucial to take immediate action if you find yourself facing DUI charges as a CDL holder. Consulting with an experienced Asheville DUI defense attorney who specializes in defending cases involving commercial drivers is essential.
What Are the Potential Penalties for DWI for CDL License Drivers?
In North Carolina, legislators impose harsh penalties for DWI on commercial drivers. They include:
- Jail time
- Paying a hefty fine
- Performing community service
- Being subject to probation
- Having a permanent criminal record that will show up on various background checks.
With your livelihood being at stake, you must contact a DUI defense lawyer in Asheville as soon as possible after being charged.
How to Fight a DUI or DWI as a Commercial Driver
The first step in your fight to keep your CDL is hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in defending commercial drivers. They will have the knowledge and expertise to navigate the complexities of North Carolina’s DUI laws specifically as they apply to CDL holders.
Your attorney will thoroughly review the details of your case, including any evidence against you such as breathalyzer results or field sobriety test reports. They will look for any potential weaknesses or violations of your rights that could be used in your defense.
One possible defense strategy is challenging the validity of the traffic stop itself. If law enforcement did not have probable cause to pull you over in the first place, any evidence obtained afterwards may be deemed inadmissible.
Another avenue for defense is disputing the accuracy of chemical tests conducted during your arrest. Your attorney may call into question factors such as maintenance records or calibration procedures which could impact the reliability of these tests.
Additionally, if there were any errors or irregularities in police procedures during your arrest, such as failure to properly inform you of your rights or mishandling evidence, this could also strengthen your defense.
Contact an Experienced Asheville DUI Lawyer!
Navigating the complex laws and regulations surrounding CDL suspensions can be overwhelming on your own. But with the guidance of a skilled attorney, you can fight for your rights and potentially minimize the impact on your CDL license.
An experienced Asheville DUI defense attorney will have in-depth knowledge of North Carolina’s DUI laws and understand how they specifically apply to commercial drivers. They will work tirelessly to build a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.
Don’t let a momentary lapse in judgment jeopardize your career as a commercial driver. Contact Asheville DUI Guy today and schedule a free case review: 828-759-5556!