Holders of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) are already made aware that their road habits will be under greater scrutiny than if they just held a standard Class C driver’s license. However, they must also keep in mind that these heightened standards must still be maintained while operating a vehicle outside of work hours and driving for personal business. As you can already probably assume, getting charged with DUI with a commercial drivers license has a big impact. Even if the charge never manifests into a conviction, there may still be repercussions.
Due to the fact that the livelihood of CDL holders deals with the operation of large and potentially dangerous motor vehicles on the roadways, the threat they could pose if they were to drive while inebriated could have devastating ramifications. Because of the inherent dangers of driving a large piece of heavy equipment while intoxicated, the legal limit for CDL holders is lowered from the standardized 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC) limit down to 0.04%. To falter and succumb to a DUI could put an immediate end to a professional driver’s career.
Consequences of a DUI Charge for all License Holders
You can have your life altered irrevocably even before being convicted in a court of law due to a DUI charge. If you have been pulled over by law enforcement and your BAC is above 0.08% then you will be subject to an automatic 30-day suspension of your driver’s license due to North Carolina’s Per Se law for Civil Revocation Law NCGS § 20-16.5.
North Carolina also operates under implied consent. This means that by accepting a North Carolina driver’s license, you’ve given your consent to be subject chemical testing of determining your BAC level. Due to this law, if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or a blood test, you’re automatically suspending your license.
Consequences of Being Charged with DUI with a Commercial Drivers License
These standards are once again further restricted for CDL holders as the threshold for these suspensions is triggered at 0.04%. This is coupled with the fact that if a CDL holder is subjected to civil revocation due to a DUI, they are prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle for 1 year in addition to the 30-day suspension. Permanent suspension of the CDL could be imposed if the driver has had any prior convictions for a DUI.
It is possible to appeal for reinstatement of a CDL after a time period of 10 years has elapsed, but the judgment will be up to the DMV. If you’ve received a reinstated CDL, a further DUI conviction would result in a lifetime revocation.
Even though your suspension begins effective immediately, you do have a window of opportunity to challenge the revocation. After having your license revoked, you have 10 days in which to submit an appeal, otherwise, you will be subject to the entirety of the suspension. The process of challenging the civil revocation is complex and your chance for a positive outcome would be greatly enhanced by contacting an experienced Asheville DUI defense lawyer.
Consequences of a DUI Conviction
First offenses concerning a DUI conviction usually results in a 1-year suspension of the standard Class C licenses. However, if the driver was over the legal drinking age during the time of the offense, then they could request for a Limited Driving Privilege (LPD).
LPD allows drivers with a suspended license to operate a vehicle for the following reasons:
- Driving to work
- Maintaining their household
- Driving to school or education facility
- Driving to court-mandated treatment
- Fulfilling court-ordered community service
- Medical emergencies
- Attending a religious ceremony
Consequences of Being Convicted with DUI with a Commercial Drivers License
Similar to the Class C license, drivers that have been convicted of their first DUI with a commercial drivers license will most likely be subjected to a 1-year suspension of their driver’s license. However, this penalty is also coupled with a 1-year disqualification of their CDL. Keep in mind, if you were found intoxicated while operating a vehicle that was transporting hazardous material, a conviction would lead to a 3-year suspension.
The CDL holder can request an LPD, however, this would only extend to an operation of a vehicle that would be covered under a Class C license. The effectively stops the driver from being able to operate a commercial vehicle in any case for one year. The suspension due to being convicted of DUI with a commercial drivers license is separate from that of the civil revocation that occurs before the trial. The time of suspension could effectively take two years before it ends.
The things you can do is contact an experienced DUI defense law firm in Asheville, NC.