5 Quick Facts About CDL DUIs in Florida
If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you are probably aware that drunk driving laws apply to you differently as compared to other motorists. In fact, Florida law includes a separate section for CDL holders arrested for DUI, and the implications are harsh. Not only do you face some of the same penalties as non-CDL holders, but there are additional implications because of your special license. Plus, your CDL is the key to your employment. The stakes are higher when your livelihood is at risk.
For these reasons and others, your first priority after being arrested for drunk driving is to contact a Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney immediately. These ## quick facts should convince you of the importance of having skilled legal counsel at your side.
- A CDL DUI triggers both federal and state law. While it is true that your CDL is issued by the State of Florida, the basic rules regarding these licenses are federal in nature. One of the most impactful US laws regarding commercial drivers is the prohibition on “masking” a DUI case: A judge cannot allow you to enter pretrial diversion or probation program that would prevent a conviction from showing on your CDL record.
- Different legal limits apply to CDL holders. It is also federal law that imposes a lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level for CDLs. Instead of the .08 percent BAC that applies to other drivers, you are held to a standard of .04 percent when driving a commercial vehicle.
- The penalties for a first-time offense affect your livelihood. Because you cannot take advantage of a first-time probation program to resolve drunk driving charges, you will face the full array of sanctions under Florida DUI laws. Plus, another set of penalties will impact your CDL, as you will be placed out-of-service for 24 hours after your arrest. This could have a severe impact for your employment status if you are unable to work.
- There are consequences even if you were driving a non-commercial vehicle. CDL holders often assume that drunk driving only triggers harsher treatment if they were driving a large commercial vehicle at the time of arrest. By law, you could still be disqualified from driving on your CDL for one year if convicted – a major detriment for maintaining your employment.
- You also face criminal charges for drunk driving. It is also worth noting that there are criminal implications for all DUI cases in Florida. Aside from the administrative proceedings that affect your CDL, drunk driving is a crime for which you could be sentenced to jail time, fines, and other penalties.
Consult with a South Florida CDL DUI Defense Lawyer for Free
These facts about CDL holders and drunk driving charges are helpful for understanding the basics, but there are additional details that you should entrust to your defense attorney. To learn how our team can assist with the legal process, please contact Kevin J. Kulik. We can set up a no-cost consultation at our Fort Lauderdale office to discuss defense strategies.