Commercial DUIs (charges of driving under the influence) are serious business because they can cost you your entire career. When you’re driving a commercial vehicle, you’re held to a higher standard than other drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides regulations for commercial drivers and blood alcohol levels. Today, the limit is .04%. Additionally, the driver may not have had any alcohol to drink within four hours prior to driving.
Did you know that commercial drivers need to submit to alcohol testing at random? They may also need to submit to testing after they return to work following a violation of alcohol policies or after an accident. If there is reasonable suspicion that the person has been drinking, they may be asked for a breath or blood sample as well.
Remember that a commercial DUI doesn’t only have to include alcohol use. Drug use can also result in a DUI charge. Some common drugs that may be screened for include:
What happens if you refuse to take a Breathalyzer test when you’re a commercial driver?
Like other drivers, you could immediately lose your license. However, the penalties are harsher for commercial drivers because the FMCSA rules state that refusing to take a test is the same as pleading guilty to a DUI.
If you get a DUI, you won’t necessarily lose your commercial license, but you may face a suspension that threatens your job. Some employers do not rehire drivers who are convicted of driving drunk, either. It’s smart to discuss your situation with someone familiar with commercial driving laws and DUIs because your livelihood may depend on the strength of your defense.