Many Florida drivers have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). If you are driving a commercial vehicle, you will violate the law if your blood alcohol is over .04–one-half of the alcohol concentration for non-commercial drivers. This can be the result of just one drink. You could potentially blow a .04% the morning after a night of heavy drinking—even if you feel sober.
If you have a commercial driver’s license and make your living via transportation services, a DUI could be devastating. A mark on your criminal record could not only affect your future; it could ruin your current livelihood.
Keeping Your CDL After DUI
If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are charged with DUI, you may face severe consequences, including a suspended or revoked license. Your ability to earn a living and provide for your family is at stake. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you need a skilled defense attorney.
Several driving offenses may result in a CDL suspension. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may even face revocation. Common traffic offenses that put your CDL at risk include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving
- Going over 15 miles per hour above the speed limit
We’re commonly asked if you must notify your employer as a commercial driver about the DUI accusations. If your employee handbook states that you must disclose any DUI charges, then you should do so immediately. If your job does not have this requirement, we recommend you keep your charges private. Before you inform your employer of your DUI arrest, it is a good idea to consult first with an experienced attorney.
At Stechschulte Nell, we understand how to protect your commercial driver’s license. Our DUI attorney has a track record of courtroom experience and successful outcomes for clients. Don’t let a DUI arrest end your career – we offer a free consultation.
DUI Penalties for Commercial Drivers in Florida
DUI convictions consequences include potential jail time, fines, a suspended or restricted license, and attending DUI school. But CDL drivers face a tougher time than other drivers. The extra penalties for commercial drivers include:
- Your CDL will be suspended.
- No hardship license option for restricted driving privileges.
- You may not be rehired. The DUI conviction will be on your record for future employment.
- Your car insurance will likely increase.
The length of your license suspension is dependent upon the severity of the violation and your past driving record. A second DUI conviction means you lose your CDL for life.
When eligible to reinstate your CDL, you may have to do some or all of the following:
- Wait the timeframe of your CDL suspension.
- Attend an alcohol or drug rehabilitation treatment program.
- Complete court requirements and pay outstanding fines/fees.
- Retake the CDL certification tests.
- Pay license reinstatement fees.
Protecting Your CDL
If you are charged with a DUI, you should work with an attorney to have your charge reduced to a non-drinking one. These charges often have less serious legal penalties, meaning you are more likely to keep your CDL. An experienced DUI lawyer like Ben Stechschulte understands negotiation strategies to get your Florida DUI charges lessened or dismissed altogether.
When arrested for DUI and your CDL is at risk, the stakes are too high. We do not recommend that you dispute a DUI involving a commercial driver’s license on your own. Do not take the unnecessary risk with your career. Hire a lawyer who is experienced in handling misdemeanor or felony charges involving a CDL.
Related >> Frequently Asked Questions
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Protect Your CDL, Call a DUI Defense Attorney
If you are arrested for DUI in Florida, you have 10 days to request a hearing. It is imperative that you act quickly. It may be possible to have your charges dropped and your commercial driver’s license reinstated with the right legal representation.
A skilled DUI defense attorney at Stechschulte Nell can review your case and give you guidance on how to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Experience makes a difference – let us make a difference for you. Call our Tampa, FL DUI lawyer at 813-280-1244 for a free case review.
5 Stars- “Ben is an absolute breath of fresh air. Consistently professional and knows the law through and through. I was arrested for a DUI while sitting in my car, no keys in hand. Ben spent many hours preparing my defense. He calls when he says he will and answers all questions honestly. Yesterday my case was completely dismissed. I will never find the right words to thank him. I have my life back.”Linda
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