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A DUI puts your CDL in jeopardy

What better way to see the country than driving a big rig! Not only do you get to see the country, but you also receive a paycheck as you do it. Those may have been your thoughts when you decided to earn your commercial driver's license. After getting a job and doing some traveling, you realized you made the right choice.

As you know, the job comes with numerous challenges as well. One of them involves keeping your license and remaining in good standing with regulatory agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This means avoiding traffic violations such as a DUI. As a commercial driver, you must meet certain standards, which are higher than those for other drivers.

Keep the following in mind

The FMCSA holds you to a higher standard due to the enormous responsibilities you have in driving such a large and heavy vehicle. As such, you may do well to keep the following in mind when it comes to DUI:

  • If you refuse to submit to blood alcohol testing when requested by law enforcement officials here in Washington or elsewhere, you may as well admit you drove drunk. That's because the FMCSA considers such a refusal as an admission of guilt.
  • If you do submit to blood alcohol testing, your blood alcohol concentration cannot be at or above .04 -- even in your personal vehicle. The state's legal limit of .08 does not apply to you since you have a CDL.
  • If you face a suspension of your CDL, it will last longer than it would for those with an ordinary driver's license.
  • You must inform your employer of any traffic violation conviction within 30 days, including a DUI. If your CDL is suspended, your employer may not allow you to drive during that time. This could make it difficult to remain employed or find new employment.

In short, a DUI could put you out of a job, at least temporarily.

Challenging the charges

This makes challenging a DUI charge imperative to keeping your CDL. With so much at stake, you may want to seek out the help of a legal advocate with experience in helping commercial drivers such as yourself. Many people who utilize the legal resources available to them are able to successfully avoid a conviction and keep on trucking.

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Tim Kelly

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