In order to drive a commercial vehicle—such as a semi-truck transporting precious cargo or bus carrying many passengers—you must undergo rigorous training and obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). However, commercial drivers are held to a higher standard compared to noncommercial drivers.
For example, drivers in Missouri can be arrested for a DUI or DWI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08 percent, while a CDL holder can be charged for having a BAC of at least .04 percent. Even if a CDL holder is driving his/her personal vehicle at the time of the arrest, he/she can still face DUI charges for having a BAC of .04 percent or higher.
A first DUI conviction for a commercial driver is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of six months, fines of up to $500, the suspension of the noncommercial driver’s license for 90 days, and two points assessed on a Missouri Driver Record. Furthermore, a first offense carries CDL disqualification for one year.
Yet, if a commercial driver is either transporting hazardous materials or licensed to transport such cargo, a first offense can result in CDL disqualification for three years. A second DUI conviction is punishable by lifetime CDL disqualification.
Even having a CDL disqualified for a year can cause irreparable damage to your professional career. Trucking companies and contractors may not only be reluctant to hire a driver with a DUI on his/her record, but they also do not want to pay the insurance premiums associated with hiring a driver with a DUI. Without the ability to work, drivers cannot provide for themselves and their loved ones.
At Smith Law Offices, LLC, we are ready to protect your rights, career, and freedom. Our legal team can investigate your arrest, examine the evidence, determine your available legal options, negotiate with the prosecution, and help you obtain the most favorable outcome in court.
If you have been arrested for a commercial DUI in St. Charles, MO, call Smith Law Offices, LLC at (636) 400-1177 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Our legal team has more than 50 years of combined legal experience!