DUI While Driving A Commercial Vehicle
As a Commercial Driver, your license is your livelihood. If you’ve been accused of DUI in PA while you were driving your commercial vehicle, you have good reason to be scared: If you lose your CDL, you could lose your job.
If you are convicted of DUI in PA while you were driving a commercial vehicle, your license can be suspended for a minimum of 12 months. Essentially, this means you won’t be able to work for an entire year! When you imagine the impact that could have on your career, your finances, and your life, you can understand while knowledge of the penalties you could be facing is so important.
DUI while driving a Commercial Vehicle in Pennsylvania
For drivers who hold a CDL in Pennsylvania, the legal limit for BAC is much lower than it is for other licensed drivers. The Commonwealth considers you impaired if your BAC is as low as .02. –75% lower than the legal limit for other drivers. At that rate, you could be considered over the limit after drinking a single beer. CDL license holders who have a BAC of .04 – or about two beers – will be placed into the Second Tier High Impairment category.
If you’re a school bus driver, that single beer will land you in the Second Tier Impairment category. School bus drivers with a BAC of .02 are automatically are placed in a higher impairment tier and face stiffer penalties
You don’t even have to be driving a Commercial Vehicle for these standards to apply. A driver who also holds a CDL can be held and charged in the Second Tier High Impairment category even while operating their personal vehicles or other non-commercial vehicles.
The laws penalizing CDL drivers for being under the influence in Pennsylvania are strict and the penalties harsh.
A first offense CDL DUI conviction brings:
- 12-month license suspension
- Fines between $500 to $5,000
- Minimum Mandatory Jail term of 2 days (up to 6 months).
For a second offense:
- 12-month license suspension
- Fines range increase to between $750 to $5,000
- Minimum Mandatory jail time increases to 30 days (up to six months).
At the Highest Impairment category (BAC of 1.6 or higher):
- License suspension can increase to 18 months
- Fines can increase up to $10,000
- Jail time can increase up to five years.
These are just the punishments from the Commonwealth. A few of the collateral consequences CDL drivers convicted of DUI often face are dramatic increases in both personal and professional automotive insurance rates. Often times drivers will be dropped outright by insurers on both their personal and commercial insurance policies, if self-employed. If employed by others, they will often be fired by their employers, because the employer can’t absorb the increase in rates as a result of having the convicted driver on their policy.
Don’t let this happen you. You need to hire an experienced DUI attorney who will aggressively defend your case. Attorney Bompadre is among the most highly-trained and experienced DUI attorneys in Pennsylvania, and he stands ready to help. Contact Bompadre Law for your free case evaluation today and be back on the road tomorrow. It may be the best move you’ll ever make.
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