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Commercial DUI Charges In Georgia

With millions of commercial vehicles traversing the roads in America, from buses to trucks; these modes of transportation are substantially larger and heavier than regular cars. Consequently, if someone wishes to drive a commercial vehicle they must first obtain a specialized driver’s license known as a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This specific license affects what sort of penalties an individual will face if convicted or arrested with DUI charges involving drugs or alcohol.

Knowing that commercial DUI penalties can come into effect even if a driver is convicted of driving under the influence in a noncommercial vehicle, it’s wise to get in touch with our experienced Vidalia commercial DUI lawyer at Downie Law, LLC as soon as possible. Our law firm offers free consultations to better understand your situation and determine how we can best help.

Alcohol Limits For CDL Drivers In Georgia

Even a single drink could be enough to exceed the legal limit for commercial vehicle operators. Non-commercial drivers, on the other hand, may have two or three drinks and still remain below the permissible threshold. In Georgia, determining someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is how enforcement officials measure if someone has exceeded this limit. For non-commercial motorists, being charged with driving under the influence requires them to present a BAC of 0.08% or above; yet, for commercial drivers that number drops drastically to only 0.04%.

Losing Your CDL After A DUI Arrest

Don’t delay in seeking legal advice if you have been arrested for a DUI and hold a commercial driver’s license, as there are only 30 days to prevent your license from being suspended. The police may not provide this information, but don’t sit back until court-time – get in touch with a DUI defense attorney without delay so that you can defend yourself against the charges before it’s too late!

In no longer than 30 days after your license has been accused of being suspended, it’ll be automatically revoked through administrative action—independent from the criminal process. To stave off this suspension, you must request an ALS hearing within 30 days. Our Vidalia commercial DUI lawyer is available to help file a letter that will give you the opportunity to preserve your CDL before any automatic suspensions take effect. Contact my office today and we can move swiftly on this.

Penalties For Commercial DUI In Georgia

Aside from the suspension of a driver’s license, those convicted of driving under the influence will face hefty criminal penalties. Generally, a first DUI is classified as a misdemeanor charge which could bring about dire consequences such as:

  • Fines: The fine could be between $300-$1000
  • Jail Time: A person convicted of DUI could face a minimum of 24 hours all the way up to 12 months in prison. A common punishment is between 1-10 days behind bars.
  • Community Service: A total of 40 hours of community service could be required. If the offender was under the age of 21 and had a BAC under .08 then he or she could be required to complete 20 hours of community service.
  • Participation in, and completion of, a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program: This must be done 120 days after a conviction or 90 days after getting out of jail.
  • A clinical evaluation and treatment, if recommended
  • Probation: The probation could last up to 12 months.

Faced with repeated DUI convictions? Be warned that the consequences become significantly more severe each time. A second offense is considered a misdemeanor, although the repercussions are harsher than those for a first-time offense. Three strikes and you’re out – or rather charged with an aggravated misdemeanor at least. And if this happens again? You’ll be looking at felony charges.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Considered A Commercial Vehicle?

Georgia law specifies that a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is authorization to drive certain commercial motor vehicles. A commercial vehicle, as determined by state laws, is any type of motorized transport which carries passengers or cargo. Examples of such automobiles include but are not limited to:

  • Vehicles that have “a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds or such lesser rating as determined by federal regulation.”
  • Vehicles that are “designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.”
  • Vehicles that transport “hazardous materials as designated under 49 U.S.C. Section 5103 and is required to be placarded in accordance with the Motor Carrier Safety Rules prescribed by the United States Department of Transportation, Title 49 C.F.R. Part 172, subpart F or is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in Title 42 C.F.R. Part 73.”

Can I Get A CDL DUI For Drugged Driving?

Georgia has established a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drugged driving, especially for those operating tractor-trailers or other commercial vehicles. If you are caught under the influence of illegal drugs and narcotics while behind the wheel, significant criminal charges may be filed against you.

It is of utmost importance that you reach out to our Vidalia commercial DUI lawyer as soon as possible if you are charged with a drug DUI offense. Depending on your case’s specifics, defensive options may be available to you. To discover more about the potential for defense in cases involving drugged driving, contact Downie Law, LLC today for a private and cost-free consultation.

Can Commercial Drivers Refuse To Submit To A Chemical Test?

Commercially licensed drivers in Georgia have the right to refuse a breath or blood test if they choose. However, according to Georgia’s Implied Consent Laws, any driver who declines this type of chemical testing will face an automatic one-year license suspension that includes their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and regular driver’s license.

At Downie Law, LLC, we are your allies in the fight against a DUI charge. We have extensive knowledge of all aspects of Georgia’s drunk driving law and can provide our community with actionable legal advice when they need it most. If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, don’t hesitate to contact us – we are here and ready to help!

Contact Our Vidalia Commercial DUI Lawyer Today

Don’t risk your career and livelihood! If you are detained for a first-time DUI in Georgia, your CDL license will be suspended without fail for an entire year—regardless of whether the incident happened while operating a commercial or personal vehicle. Furthermore, if you have two DUI convictions on record, then driving any type of commercial car is forbidden to you permanently. Therefore it’s paramount that you know exactly how to protect yourself so as not to lose your job and privileges. Contact our Vidalia commercial DUI lawyer right away so we can explain what comes with receiving a DUI charge and how best to fight against these charges.