DUI arrests for commercial drivers can carry serious consequences

If you’re a bus driver, truck driver or anyone else who makes a living by using a commercial driver’s license, then you are held to a higher standard than the general public when it comes to DUI offenses.

It makes sense, because in any commercial vehicle situation the stakes are so much higher. A school bus packed with children, or a tanker truck full of gasoline, or a long-range hauler with a 40-foot trailer full of heavy or chemical laden products is an accident of epic proportions just waiting to happen when impaired driving is involved. Aside from the public safety issues, a commercial driver also puts the economic health and well being of their employer at risk through unacceptable behavior.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established guidelines and most states have adopted those guidelines for commercial drivers. Current regulations set a blood-alcohol concentration limit of 0.04 percent, which is half the blood-alcohol concentration limit set for non-commercial drivers. Under the regulations, commercial drivers cannot operate a commercial vehicle for a minimum of at least four hours after consuming alcohol.

FMCSA regulations allow for random drug testing, after a driver has been involved in an accident, in other instances where there is reasonable suspicion, and as a condition of coming back to work after an alcohol policy violation. Drivers may be screened not only for alcohol, but also for marijuana, cocaine, opiates and amphetamines.

Commercial drivers are subject to the same criminal law penalties and procedures are non-commercial drivers, but penalties can be more severe. A commercial DUI conviction may result in a longer driver’s license suspension, and that can result in economic devastation for a person who makes a living as a driver.

If you’re a commercial driver charged with a DUI. It’s imperative that you seek the services of an experienced DUI defense attorney who will know how to best analyze field sobriety tests, law enforcement procedures and other aspects of your case to make sure that you are fully protected under the law.

The Linda Louder Law Office proudly serves the residents and businesses of Sacramento and surrounding communities in northern California.