For people who drive for a living, a DUI can be devastating.
It may not seem fair that some people can have a blood alcohol content of 0.07%, and not automatically be in violation of DUI law, but other driver's who have to pass stricter driving tests would be arrested for a DUI. But in Georgia, commercial drivers are treated different than regular drivers. And a BAC of 0.04% for a commercial driver is enough to get them arrested for a DUI, and face a 1 year suspension of their commercial driver's license.
Because the penalties have a greater sting for driver's with a CDL, it is important to try and fight DUI charges with an experienced Atlanta DUI defense lawyer. A license suspension could mean that a driver will be out of work, since they won't be able to drive on a suspended license. Most importantly for CDL drivers with a DUI arrest, you don't have time to wait around to decide what to do, because your license will be administratively suspended if you don't request a formal hearing within 10 days.
Commercial driver DUIs, and other DUI cases are different than other criminal cases because they involve both administrative and criminal penalties. A lawyer who handles all kinds of cases from divorce, to criminal defense, to setting up wills may not have the specialized training involving how to conduct field sobriety tests, and how breath and blood tests work. An experienced DUI lawyer who exclusively handles drunk driving cases will understand all the avenues to explore, to find all available defenses for their client, to get the charges reduced or dismissed.
CDL Drunk Driving Defenses
If you or a loved one got a DUI and risk losing your commercial driver's license, your DUI defense lawyer will undergo an in-depth investigation into your case. Defenses to DUI charges can come from mistakes made by the police, improper procedures, incorrect instructions, and even faulty machinery. Just because the police think you were intoxicated, does not mean you have to be convicted. Consider all the following questions.
Did the police officer have reasonable suspicion to justify a traffic stop? If the police officers cannot articulate why they pulled you over, then they may not have been following the laws in place to protect you from unreasonable search and seizure. In these cases, with a defense lawyer by your side, evidence may be thrown out, and your case could be dismissed entirely.
Did you supposedly fail a field sobriety test? These “standardized” tests have all sorts of problems with them. Medical problems, environmental factors, and improper instructions can cause completely sober people to allegedly fail the tests. Police officers may not be interested in hearing why you failed the test, and may decide to arrest you regardless of whether you are actually sober.
Did your blood or breath test over the legal limit? Machines, just like people, aren't perfect. The results from chemical testing are subject to error if the machines aren't properly cleaned, maintained or calibrated. Blood and urine chemical testing can also be contaminated if not handled according to guidelines. Even breath tests can be incorrect, and set off by other factors not involving consumption of alcohol.
Commercial DUI Defense Lawyer in Atlanta
All of these factors need to be explored by a DUI lawyer who understands the DUI traffic stop and arrest process, including the science behind chemical tests. Don't let a DUI mean the end of your commercial driving career. 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.