Facing a charge for driving under the influence in Norwich is never fun, but it can have different consequences for different people. For most, a first offense will be scary, but will not result in serious issues such as significant jail time, fines, or license revocation.
However, the consequences can be more severe depending on your work situation. If you have a professional license to be a doctor, dentist, teacher, etc. in Connecticut, your license may be suspended if you are convicted of a DUI. Similarly, if you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), it likely means that you drive for a living. Naturally, if your license is suspended, you will not be able to work. Whether you are a bus driver, taxi driver, truck driver, etc., your regular driver’s license and CDL could be suspended, putting you on probation at your job or resulting in the loss of your job entirely.
On this page, you can learn more about DUI consequences for CDL holders and how to protect yourself, your license, and your livelihood.
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DUIs and other traffic violations are taken seriously for those who operate commercial vehicles on a regular basis. That’s because these special vehicles can pose a safety risk to the public if they are not operated properly. Driving under the influence can negatively impact your motor skills, judgement, and general ability to drive safely, which could increase the risk for accidents and other issues on the road.
As such, there are special considerations for those with CDLs when it comes to DUIs. First, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for those with commercial driver’s licenses is lower than it is for the general public. For adults with regular licenses, the limit is .08%. However, for CDL holders, the limit is .04%. This means that you will be considered impaired and at risk for DUI conviction at a much lower level than your regularly licensed counterparts.
Another element to consider is that when any person is charged with a DUI in Connecticut, the DMV is contacted and automatically sends out a notice for a license suspension. If you are convicted of a DUI, your CDL will automatically be suspended for one year, effectively making it impossible for you to work your current job for that period of time. There are also situations in which you could lose your license for three years upon DUI conviction. These situations are:
- If you were driving a commercial vehicle containing hazardous material at the time of your arrest.
- You refused to take or failed a BAC test.
Protect Your License
As you can see, getting a DUI when you are a CDL holder can have serious and long-lasting consequences. This is especially the case if you face a second or third DUI offense. Your CDL could be revoked permanently, meaning that on top of serious jail time and fines, you will have to find a new line of work. Your life can be interrupted in many ways if you can’t work due to a DUI charge or conviction. A charge alone may cause your employer to reconsider your employment in some cases.
The best way to protect your license is by being proactive and contacting a Norwich DUI defense lawyer who has worked to save CDL licenses in the past. This is just what our law firm is capable of, and we are here to help you through this stressful experience.