It may not seem fair that a driver with a commercial drivers license puts so much more at risk if they are arrested for a DUI. After all, a regular driver can drive with a much higher blood alcohol level before they are at risk of an arrest for per se intoxication of alcohol. On top of that, a non-commercial driver doesn't risk a lifetime ban for a second DUI, only a longer suspension. But because commercial drivers are held to a much higher standard, it is even more important for a driver arrested for drunk driving to contact an experienced Georgia DUI lawyer, to make sure they get treated fairly.
Per Se Intoxication Limits
Under Georgia law, you can be charged with a per se DUI or less safe DUI. For per se DUIs, that means the law considers you automatically impaired if you show a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 % or greater. This is done after an arrest, usually at the police station. The police will have the driver submit to a blood or breath test, to chemically determine the amount of alcohol in their system.
For commercial driver's, the legal BAC limit is only half that of a non-commercial driver. That means if a commercial driver blows a 0.04 % BAC or greater, they are per se intoxicated. Effectively, a non-commercial driver could drink twice as much as a commercial driver, and still be considered not over the legal limit. For many people, depending on their weight and other factors, one drink may be enough to put them over 0.04 % BAC.
CDL Suspension and Disqualification
Immediately after a DUI arrest, the clock starts running to suspend your license. It does not mean you can wait until your court hearing to challenge your license suspension, because the Georgia Department of Driver Services goes through a separate administrative process to suspend a driver's license. You only have 10 days to request a hearing to challenge the ALS suspension. You should contact your Atlanta DUI defense lawyer to help you file your ALS hearing request to make sure your license doesn't get suspended before you even have your day in court.
A DUI counts as a major traffic violation, and will result in a one-year suspension of your CDL. If you get a second DUI or major traffic violation, you can lose your CDL forever. Don't let a single mistake put your job, your income, and the future of your family at risk.
As a commercial driver, you may face a CDL suspension even if you never submitted to a blood or breath test. Under Georgia's implied consent laws, if you refuse a chemical test after being arrested for a DUI, your license will automatically get suspended for a year. And unlike for a non-commercial driver, if you get a limited driving permit, it will not allow you to operate a commercial vehicle until the suspension is over, and your license has been reinstated.
Commercial DUI Lawyer in Atlanta
Don't let a DUI mean the end of your career as a commercial vehicle operator. If you or a loved one with a CDL has been arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, call me anytime, and I will make sure you are treated fairly by the courts and the state.