Not just anyone can operate a large automobile such as a bus or tractor-trailer. Individuals must instead undergo special training to procure a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a department within the U.S. Department of Transportation. Their primary goal is to reduce the incidence rate of crashes through regulation of the trucking industry. One of the ways they try to do this is by regulating drunk driving threshholds among commercial drivers.
Most states, including New York, hold commercial carriers to higher standards related to the blood alcohol content (BAC). While most drivers can lawfully have a BAC of up to .08%, that threshold is just .04% for some motorists, such as commercial drivers.
You should keep in mind that there are also laws on the books that allow law enforcement officers to arrest you if you refuse Breathalyzer or BAC testing. State officials may revoke both your standard driver’s license and CDL as a result.
Then there are also the FMCSA regulations. They prohibit a commercial driver from consuming alcohol within four hours of getting behind the wheel of their company’s vehicle. Law enforcement may still ticket you, resulting in your license suspension, even if your BAC doesn’t exceed the legal limit.
While you may be able to serve a brief suspension before applying for the restoration of your driving privileges, New York law may make you wait significantly longer to restore your commercial license. You may also have to pay significant fines before this happens as well.
Individuals looking to procure a CDL for the first time or switch jobs with a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction on their record may face an uphill battle when trying to do so. It may be impossible to do depending on the severity and recency of the alleged offense. The best that you can do if you’re facing such charges is to consult with an attorney who knows New York drunk driving laws and how to best defend you against them in your Orange County case.