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What happens to your CDL license if you get a DUI?

While the consequences for driving under the influence are hefty for any driver, operators of commercial vehicles in Florida face stricter punishments than those of passenger cars. Since large trucks are so much bigger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, lawmakers want their drivers to be extra cautious to prevent accidents. In fact, CDL drivers are required to have a lower blood alcohol concentration level of 0.04 percent as compared to the 0.08 percent BAC that is acceptable for other motorists. Here are the commercial driver punishments that are affixed to various DUI offenses.

DUI offense

If a commercial driver is found to have a BAC of over 0.04 percent, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles states that the driver will face a one-year CDL license revocation. Those transporting hazardous materials are held to a higher standard and will have their license taken away for three years on the first offense.

Drug offense

In addition to being intoxicated by alcohol, drivers who are under the influence of any drugs are given the same consequences, with a revocation of one year on the first offense or three for hazardous materials drivers. For both types of offenses, a new license can be applied for once the waiting period is over, but the driver will have to pay a disqualification reinstatement fee as well. The charge for this is generally $75.

Breath analyzer refusal

If a police officer asks a CDL driver to submit to a breath analyzer test to determine BAC and he or she refuses, the license will automatically be revoked for at least one year. The reinstatement fee is also required in this situation.

When it comes to drinking and driving a commercial vehicle, the stakes are higher than for regular drivers and the consequences more severe. Since the truck is often the driver's livelihood, a one year suspension means 12 whole months that the defendant will be required to go without pay. While many may consider getting a temporary job, another option is to hire an experienced lawyer to fight for you rights in court. If you have been charged with drunk driving while operating a commercial vehicle, contact an attorney today to achieve the best settlement possible.

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