CDL and DUI in Arizona

cdl and duiEveryone knows that there are consequences for getting caught drinking and driving. Part of having a driver’s license is operating vehicles responsibly and sober. Many people in Arizona have another form of driver’s license – a commercial driver’s license.

When a person has their commercial driver’s license, they face a different set of standards when it comes to drinking and driving. If you or a loved one are facing an impaired driving charge, please seek help from a qualified Arizona DUI defense attorney. Today, we want to talk about what could happen to your CDL if you are charged with drinking and driving, the different limits for blood alcohol level in a commercial vehicle, and what steps you can take if you are charged.

Rules for those with commercial driver’s licenses

Commercial driver’s license holders are held to a higher standard when it comes to obeying traffic laws. That makes sense, considering that they typically operate vehicles that are much heavier and pose serious risks in the event of a crash.

The most noticeable difference in the laws when it comes to drinking and driving with a commercial driver’s license is the allowable blood alcohol level. For those with a regular license, the legal blood alcohol level is .08%.

  • For those with a commercial driver’s license driving a commercial vehicle, the legal blood alcohol level is .04%.
  • For most people, that is around one drink.

Please understand that this is not the only difference those with their CDL face when it comes to impaired driving. Even if a person with a CDL is charged with DUI in a personal vehicle (at .08% or above), they can still have their CDL and regular license suspended.

The following consequences apply for a CDL holder charged with and convicted of DUI (regardless of whether the DUI happened in their personal or commercial vehicle):

  • One-year suspension of their CDL for a first-time offense.
  • Lifetime suspension of CDL for a second offense (regardless of whether the first offense happened before they even obtained their CDL).
  • Suspension of the CDL holders regular license for 30 to 90 days for a first offense.

Those are just the consequences concerning the licenses. Being charged with DUI also comes with possible jail time as well as other penalties.

Standard DUI (BAC above .08%)

  • 10 days jail time
  • $1,500 fine
  • 90 license suspension
  • Interlock device for one year
  • Alcohol evaluation/treatment program

Please understand that there are more serious DUI charges in Arizona that can be filed depending on a person’s blood alcohol level.

  • Extreme DUI can be charged for those with a blood alcohol level over .15%
  • Super Extreme DUI can be charged for those with a blood alcohol level over .20%

Being charged with Extreme or Super Extreme DUI means that there will be significant increases on the penalties listed under the Standard DUI above.

Moving forward from here can be tough

We know that it seems like there is no path forward from here, but that is not the case. Your first step needs to be securing a knowledgeable and experienced DUI defense attorney in Arizona. If you have a commercial driver’s license, it is likely that you depend on it to make a living. A DUI charge has serious consequences for both your regular license and your CDL. Not only are you facing license suspensions, but also the possibility of jail time and major fines. It is time to build your defense. Your attorney will investigate all aspects of your case and work to get your charges reduced or dismissed so you can get back to living your life.

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