If you wish to drive a commercial vehicle, be it an 18-wheeler tractor trailer, package delivery truck, construction machine, and many others, you’re required under Alabama laws to obtain a commercial driver’s license. As such, most commercial driver’s license holders depend on their ability to drive in order to sustain themselves their families. Commercial drivers are held to a significantly higher standard when it comes to road laws, and that’s why even a single misstep can have grave consequences.
When an average driver is charged with driving under the influence, the effect on their lives can be significant. However, for commercial drivers, the consequences can be devastating. Commercial driving DUI laws are not only significantly stricter than those for regular drivers, but a conviction could jeopardize their ability to ever work in commercial driving again.
In order to avoid a situation where you might face these types of consequences, here is a brief summary of Alabama’s commercial DUI laws from our Birmingham DUI lawyers.
Decreased BAC Level
According to Alabama law, a regular driver is not considered to be under the influence of alcohol unless their blood alcohol content level is at .08 or above. For commercial drivers, this limit is cut in half: you are considered to be “under the influence” at a BAC level of .04. This means even one drink could potentially put a commercial driver at risk for being arrested and charged.
Personal Vehicles Are Still Grounds for Conviction
What happens if you’re driving your personal vehicle when you’re charged with DUI? Well, unfortunately nothing changes. Commercial license holders are still held to the same stringent laws in their own cars as they are behind the wheel of the vehicles they drive for work. That means you need to remain vigilant and responsible, even when you’re no longer on the clock.
Driver’s License Suspensions
If you hold a commercial driver’s license for transporting hazardous materials, your license suspension will be significantly harsher than even a regular commercial license. For those who are convicted of a simple DUI, a first offense will result in a three year license disqualification for hazardous material transportation.
Furthermore, if you test positive for any trace of alcohol in your blood, even if it’s under the legal .04 limit, you will be given a 24-hour out-of-service order which means you can’t continue driving for that period of time. During this period, you could have your license suspended.
These are all extremely good reasons to seek assistance from a Birmingham DUI attorney as soon as possible if you find yourself facing charges as a commercial license holder. Call Tidwell Law Group at (205) 536-7770 to request a case evaluation today!