If you have been pulled over and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you may be wondering whether your commercial driver’s license (CDL) can be affected. Commercial vehicles are for many people a source of their livelihood and without a license, it may have a big impact on their career.
In Florida, there are slightly different rules that apply to CDLs when you are pulled over suspected of DUI, and you may also face difficulties in finding work as a commercial driver if you have a DUI on your record.
If you are dealing with a DUI charge as a commercial driver, speak to a lawyer immediately to help you with your case.
What is a DUI?
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida is covered under Florida Statutes 316.193. This section states that if you are “driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle” in Florida, and you are “under the influence of alcoholic beverages” or other chemical substances that intoxicate you or distort or disturb auditory, visual, or mental processes, you can be charged with a DUI.
Alternatively, if you are found to be operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level that is at or above the limit of 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, you can also be charged with a DUI.
If you are found guilty of this charge you can be fined between $500-$2000 depending on whether it is your first or second offense, or up to 6 months imprisonment for a first offense and up to 9 months for a second offense. Third violations lead to fines of up to $5000 and imprisonment up to a year. A fourth time is a third-degree felony offense, which comes with much stricter penalties.
Is Getting Pulled Over With a CDL Different than a Regular License?
Under Florida law, a slightly different standard applies to drivers driving with a CDL:
- The blood-alcohol level limit is only 0.04 or above
- If you are suspected to be driving under the influence while holding a CDL, you will be subject to different “implied consent” rules in Florida. All drivers in Florida are subject to implied consent rules, which means that when you are pulled over and suspected of a DUI, you are deemed to have “consented” to being tested for a blood or urine test. You can decline these tests, with penalties: section 322.61 of the Florida Statutes sets out that for drivers holding a CDL if you decline to take a breath or urine test you will have your CDL suspended for 12 months.
- If you refuse a blood or urine test a second time in another incident, your CDL can be suspended permanently.
- In addition, if you are charged with a DUI any refusal to submit to a urine or breath test can be used against you in your trial.
- You cannot drive a commercial vehicle such as a truck or van while in possession of a controlled substance.
Can You Obtain a CDL With a DUI On Your Record?
If you have an existing DUI charge or conviction on your record, you can still apply for a CDL in Florida, and you can still be granted one. However, if you have a DUI on your record it may be difficult to find work using your CDL.
The more time has passed since the charge of a DUI, the higher the likelihood is that someone will hire you to drive for them.
Get Help from a Board-Certified Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI, Stechschulte Nell can help. Attorney Ben Stechschulte is a Florida board-certified trial lawyer and is uniquely qualified to aggressively and effectively defend DUI clients who are facing criminal charges. We are available 24/7 to take your call and discuss the specifics of your case.
Contact our Tampa, FL law firm at (813) 280-1244 to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney, or request a free case review online.