Commercial Vehicle DUI
If you hold a Commercial Vehicle Driver’s License (CDL), all of the potential charges and penalties for a DUI are applicable to your case. However, because a greater responsibility to conduct yourself in a safer manner than the average driver due to the vehicles you drive for work and the potential hazards that can be caused by unsafe operation of those vehicles, you face greater consequences than the average driver.
To begin with, if you are convicted of a DUI while operating a normal, non-commercial vehicle, you will not be able to obtain a hardship/business purpose restricted CDL. They do not exist in Florida, so this means no commercial driving for at least 6 months on a first conviction for DUI.
Secondly, even if you were driving your personal vehicle or any other non-commercial vehicle, you will be disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle or 12 months.
Florida Statutes Section 322.62 makes operating any commercial vehicle with any alcohol in your system a moving violation, which is a civil infraction with a fine of up to $500.00. Additionally, you will not be able to drive a commercial vehicle for the immediate 24 hour period upon being ticketed for this offense.
The same statute goes on to state that if your BAC Level is 0.04 or higher, you face additional penalties under Florida Statute Section 322.61. These include a 12 month disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle. That disqualification goes up to 36 months if you were transporting hazardous material at the time your BAC Level was 0.04 or higher.
If you get a second conviction on a charge of either non-commercial DUI or commercial DUI over a 0.04 BAC Level, you will receive a lifetime disqualification from operating a motor vehicle. It does not matter how far apart these offenses occur to trigger the disqualification. Also, depending on any prior convictions you may have for offenses such as refusing to submit to chemical testing, driving on a suspended CDL, or leaving the scene of an accident without complying with statutory requirements, your non-commercial DUI or Commercial DUI over a 0.40 can, upon conviction, trigger that lifetime disqualification.
If you are charged with a DUI and have a CDL, it’s not just your freedom at stake, it may very well be your livelihood as well. Contact us immediately for assistance with your case.