From semi-trucks and garbage trucks to buses and limousines, you must possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate such vehicles because they carry precious cargo or passengers. Therefore, commercial drivers are held to stricter standards compared to non-commercial drivers, especially when it comes to DUI/OWI.
First, if a CDL holder has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .04 percent, he/she can be charged with a DUI. In contrast, the legal limit for non-commercial drivers is .08 percent. Furthermore, a legal limit for commercial drivers also applies when they are operating their personal vehicle.
Along with fines, driver’s license suspension applied to your personal vehicle, and potentially a jail sentence, a first DUI/OWI conviction in Michigan can result in CDL disqualification for at least one year. However, if a commercial driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time of the arrest, a conviction is punishable by CDL disqualification for a minimum of three years.
A second or subsequent DUI/OWI conviction is punishable by lifetime CDL disqualification. Yet, there is an opportunity to reinstate a CDL within ten years of the conviction.
Michigan also enforces “out-of-service orders” for CDL holders who are caught consuming alcohol within four hours of operating a commercial vehicle, consuming alcohol while operating a commercial vehicle, having a BAC of at least .015 percent before or while driving a commercial vehicle, or committing certain violations. This order means a CDL holder cannot operate a commercial vehicle for 24 hours.
Without a CDL, these drivers are out of work and cannot provide for themselves and their families. Additionally, even if they have their CDL reinstated, trucking companies may be reluctant to hire them because of having a drunk or drugged driving conviction on their records.
When facing a DUI/OWI in Michigan, it is imperative for commercial drivers to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help them avoid a conviction and losing their career.
If you are a commercial driver who has been arrested for a DUI/OWI in Farmington Hills or within the surrounding area, call Daniel D. Hajji, Attorney at Law at (248) 599-0054 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free consultation. More than 17 years of trial-tested experience!