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What Happens If You're Charged with a DUI While Driving A Commercial Vehicle?


Getting charged with a DUI is always a serious situation. But that situation can be even more consequential if you’re charged with a DUI while operating a commercial vehicle. In fact, people who operate commercial vehicles are often held to a higher standard than average drivers. Many states have modeled their standards after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and set a 0.04 blood alcohol limit for commercial drivers.

Some states also have a rule that commercial drivers cannot operate a vehicle within four hours of consuming alcohol. Commercial drivers could even be subjected to alcohol testing after an accident if there is the suspicion that the driver was under the influence. Not only could you be putting your safety and driver’s license at risk, but you could ruin your current career and any future opportunities.

Keep reading to learn happens if you’re charged with a DUI while driving a commercial vehicle.

You Must Notify Your Employer

In most states, if you hold a CDL and are convicted of any traffic offense other than a parking violation, you must notify your employer within 30 days. Your employer must be notified even if you weren’t driving a commercial vehicle at the time.

You May Have A Longer License Suspension

Anyone who is charged with a DUI could be at risk to have his/her license suspended. However, the length of the suspension could be even longer if you have a CDL. In some states, CDL holders automatically receive a one-year license suspension if they are charged with a DUI.

You Could Lose Your CDL

In many states, including Tennessee, any CDL holder who is charged with a second DUI will automatically lose his/her license forever. It is important to note that it doesn’t matter how far apart the second conviction is from the first.

You Could Lose Your Job

If you’re a commercial driver whose DUI results in a suspended license, it is illegal for your employer to allow you to work while your license is suspended. Other than that, it is completely up to the discretion of your employer to decide whether or not you will be able to return to work. Having a DUI on your record could also make it difficult to get jobs in the future.

You Could Face Fines And Other Legal Fees

Not only could being convicted of a commercial DUI impact your personal and professional lives, but it could also impact your wallet. If you’re arrested for a DUI, the first thing you should do is contact a lawyer. Between legal fees and potential fines, a DUI could quickly become very expensive.

Contact Us

If you’ve been charged with a commercial DUI, or are simply a commercial driver looking for more information on the subject, Attorney Brian Nash has nearly a decade of experience working with a wide range of clients. He brings a vast amount of knowledge, drive, and determination to every case he works with. If you or someone you know is dealing with a DUI while driving a commercial vehicle, please contact Nash Law, PLLC today at 615-628-7555.

This article was written by the author on behalf of Nash Law, PLLC.