If you are a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, you know how difficult it was to obtain this license. As such, you likely do not want to jeopardize this license in any way. However, there are many issues on the road that could result in the suspension or even the revocation of your CDL. Even a simple suspension can have a significant impact on your life because it can put your ability to work at risk. As such, you want to protect this license at all costs.
One of the ways that your Derby CDL may be at risk is if you are charged with or convicted of a DUI. The state of Connecticut takes DUI seriously, especially for those carrying a commercial driver’s license. That is because commercial vehicles can cause a lot of damage on the road if the driver is not focused or capable of driving safely. Due to the serious nature of having a CDL and operating commercial vehicles safely, the penalties of a DUI for a CDL driver are more severe than for the average Connecticut driver. You can learn more on this page.
A Derby DUI for a CDL holder will differ than one for your average driver, starting with how DUI is defined. For a Connecticut driver who holds a regular driver’s license, they can be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol concentration is .08% or higher. However, for a CDL holder, the legal limit is .04%. Under federal CDL guidelines, this is the case whether you are operating a regular vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle. Simply having a CDL license increases the stringency of the expectations for you while you are on the road.
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Also keep in mind that under Connecticut’s implied consent law, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test when prompted to do so by a police officer. Because the suspension of your license could mean that you won’t be able to work, you may want to take the test and deal with a DUI charge if one is doled out. A Derby CDL DUI defense lawyer can potentially fight the results of a breath test or other tests that you take.
If you refuse to take a breath test or you are convicted of a DUI, your CDL will be suspended for one year if you were operating a regular vehicle at the time of your arrest, or three years if you were operating a commercial vehicle at the time of your arrest. Both of these suspension periods are much longer than the 45-day license suspension for a regular first offender driver.
These are the license suspension penalties for a first time Derby offender. However, if you are a second time offender, your CDL will be permanently revoked. Again, this is a much harsher penalty than for a regular driver who is a second time DUI offender. If your license is revoked upon a second DUI conviction, you will have a chance to have it reinstated, but you have to wait 10 years in order to qualify for potential license reinstatement.
You face additional penalties such as fines, jail time, and more if you are convicted of a DUI, but a license suspension or revocation can be very serious if you depend on driving for your livelihood. You may not be able to perform your job if you can’t operate a commercial motor vehicle. Because the stakes are so high when you have a Derby CDL, contact a local DUI defense lawyer to try to protect your license.