Driving under the influence (DUI) charges have negative impacts for anyone, but for those who drive for a living, the consequences are often more severe. Since commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are also held to a higher standard of responsibility, there is also a lower threshold for getting a DUI as a commercial driver.
More information about CDL DUIs:
DUI Charge Overview
Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 28-1381 outlines the circumstances that result in DUI charges.
These charges apply if a person is in actual physical control of a vehicle:
- While under the influence of drugs or alcohol resulting in even the slightest degree of impairment
- With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more
- With any drug listed in ARS 13-3401 or its metabolite in their body
- With a BAC of 0.04 or more while operating a commercial vehicle
DUI In A Commercial Vehicle
A commercial vehicle requires a CDL to drive, such as a semi-truck. If someone is stopped in such a vehicle with a BAC over 0.04, they will face DUI charges. This is a lower threshold than it is for personal vehicles because commercial drivers are held to a higher standard and often have the potential to do more damage due to larger vehicles.
Keep in mind that both commercial drivers and non-commercial drivers are subject to the “impaired to the slightest degree” portion of Arizona’s DUI law. This means that drivers can face charges even if their BAC is below the stated threshold.
DUI In A Personal Vehicle For CDL Holders
One common question CDL holders have is whether the 0.04 threshold applies in their personal vehicles. The answer is that in Arizona, CDL holders in non-commercial vehicles are subject to the same 0.08 threshold as other drivers. Again, criminal charges could still apply based on impairment.
Even though the threshold is the same as it is for other drivers, CDL holders are required to report DUIs to their employers and face serious consequences.
DUI Consequences For CDL Drivers
Whether a DUI occurs in a commercial vehicle or a personal vehicle, the impacts are likely to be more severe.
A DUI conviction, whether it occurs in a personal or commercial vehicle, results in a CDL suspension. The first offense suspends the license for one year unless the driver was transporting hazardous materials, in which case the disqualification will last three years. A second DUI results in lifetime disqualification.
This means that after a DUI, a trucker driver will lose their job since they can no longer operate a commercial vehicle with a CDL restriction. In most cases, re-entering the industry is very difficult. Being convicted of this crime completely upends a commercial driver’s career and life.
DUI Defense Lawyers Tucson
If you are a commercial driver facing DUI charges, our criminal defense lawyers can help. We will fight to achieve the best possible outcome.