DUI Charges for Drivers with a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) in Gwinnett County
It is important for a CDL holder to be aware that they can face commercial DUI penalties even if they are not operating a commercial vehicle at the time they are arrested. As a DUI can have a significant impact on your life and your ability to earn a living, if you have a CDL, it is a good idea to contact a Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer to defend you against DUI charges. Richard Lawson has extensive experience defending those who have been accused of driving under the influence throughout the State of Georgia. Contact him today to discuss your case.
What Is A Commercial Vehicle?
In Georgia, "a motor vehicle designed or used to transport passengers or property" is considered to be a commercial vehicle. § 40-5-142(7). Commercial vehicles include a range of different vehicle types such as:
- Vehicles that have "a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds or such lesser rating as determined by federal regulation."
- Vehicles that are "designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver."
- Vehicles that transport "hazardous materials as designated under 49 U.S.C. Section 5103 and is required to be placarded in accordance with the Motor Carrier Safety Rules prescribed by the United States Department of Transportation, Title 49 C.F.R. Part 172, subpart F or is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in Title 42 C.F.R. Part 73." Id.
Commercial Drivers And DUI
If a driver operating a commercial vehicle is pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, the BAC threshold that he or she is subject to is different than those driving regular cars. In the State of Georgia, "[a] person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any moving commercial motor vehicle while there is 0.04 percent or more by weight of alcohol in such person's blood, breath, or urine." § 40-6-391(i). This is 50% lower than the general legal limit in the state, which is .08. § 40-6-391(a)(5).
As previously mentioned, a CDL holder can face the same administrative penalties as a person operating a commercial vehicle while intoxicated even if the CDL holder is arrested while driving a regular, noncommercial vehicle. It is important to note, however, that if a CDL holder is driving a normal vehicle when he or she is arrested then that person is held to the same standard as other drivers. Thus, the applicable BAC limit would be .08 instead of .04.
Criminal Penalties For Commercial DUI in Gwinnett County
License suspension is just one consequence a driver who is convicted of a DUI may face. A first DUI conviction can also lead to:
- Fines: The fine could be between $300-$1000
- Jail Time: A person convicted of DUI could face a minimum of 24 hours all the way up to 12 months in prison. A common punishment is between 1-10 days behind bars.
- Community Service: A total of 40 hours of community service could be required. If the offender was under the age of 21 and had a BAC under .08 then he or she could be required to complete 20 hours of community service.
- Participation in, and completion of, a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program: This must be done 120 days after a conviction or 90 days after getting out of jail.
- A clinical evaluation and treatment, if recommended
- Probation: The probation could last up to 12 months.
- License suspension: A commercial driver can be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for 1 year after a first DUI conviction. For a second conviction, a CDL driver will loose their CDL license for life.
The first DUI is usually a misdemeanor. With each subsequent DUI conviction, the penalties increase in severity. A second DUI is a misdemeanor, a third can be an aggravated misdemeanor, and a fourth DUI is a felony charge. Our Gwinnett County DUI Lawyers will take all the time necessary to determine the best strategy for your case.
Contact A DUI Defense Attorney
If you are facing a DUI charge in Gwinnett County, you want a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to represent you and fight on your behalf. Richard Lawson and his team of DUI Attorneys in Gwinnett County have been DUI defense attorneys in the state of Georgia for over 20 years. Contact his office today!