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Tampa Commercial DUI Attorney

How will a criminal charge affect your CDL license?

If you have recently been charged with driving under the influence, it is important to realize that the ramifications of a DUI can be absolutely devastating. This, however, is never truer than if you are in possession of a CDL and drive large commercial trucks for a living. For professional truck drivers, penalties can have life-altering consequences. Although the limit for most drivers is 0.08 percent, if you are a professional driver, the threshold is much lower.

In fact, if you register at 0.04 percent, you will be considered to be above the legal limit. Not only this, but at your first conviction, you will lose your CDL license for up to a year. If you are charged with a second DUI, you will permanently lose your license, and in essence, your livelihood. If you do not have a CDL license, you cannot professional drive a truck and therefore, you will not be able to continue in your line of employment.

FMCSA Regulations: Alcohol and Drug Testing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is strict on their stance on commercial drivers who operate their vehicles while impaired by drugs and / or alcohol. For this reason, they impose strict testing. Any driver who uses a CDL is subjected to these tests – which may include urine or breath tests. In regards to driving under the influence of alcohol, commercial drivers are prohibited from driving while drinking, while having a BAC over 0.04 percent and within four hours of drinking. Tests are required of all drivers at the following times:

  • Following an accident where the driver's behavior was a contributing factor.
  • When there is reasonable suspicion by supervisors and company officials for impaired behavior.
  • At random intervals that are unannounced.
  • After returning-to-duty from an alcohol related prohibition, as well as follow-up tests.

For drivers, the test that they will deal with the most frequently is that of random alcohol testing. Drivers will be placed into a pool and then selected at random. Tests are broken up into two stages. The first is deemed "screening." If the BAC is over 0.02 percent, it will move into the second stage for confirmation. This must have results that are printed and properly recorded to ensure accuracy. Should it be determined that a driver was under the influence with a BAC over 0.02 percent, they will immediately be removed from any "safety-sensitive functions."

Drivers will also be subjected to tests that analyze urine for traces of marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and PCP. In a similar manner, these tests are broken into a screening and confirmation process and done at similar times. Should the test come back positive, the driver will be interviewed to determine whether or not it stemmed from the use of a controlled substance without proper authorization (for example, medical marijuana). If so, they will be removed from duty until rehabilitation has been completed and a follow-up test comes back negative. They will continue to be monitored at this point.

Contact a Tampa CDL DUI lawyer at our firm today to learn more about how we can help you!

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