All motorists in Alabama are prohibited from driving any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. However, Code of Alabama § 32-5A-191(2) sets a much lower threshold for the amount of alcohol that can be in the blood of a driver when that person has been operating a commercial vehicle.
It is an extremely embarrassing and stressful experience for any commercial driver who is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) while operating a truck, tractor-trailer, van, bus, or other vehicle. Not only do these people face criminal charges, but employers are immediately aware of these arrests and a conviction can have a profound effect on an alleged offender's ability to support his or her family.
Huntsville Commercial Truck DUI Lawyer
If you are a commercial driver who was recently arrested for DUI in Alabama, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal counsel. Law Offices Of Segal & Segal not only fights these criminal charges but can also challenge any administrative suspension of your regular Class D driver's license or commercial driver's license (CDL).
Our Madison County commercial truck DUI attorneys represent drivers from all over Northern Alabama, including New Hope, Athens, Madison, Scottsboro, Albertville, and Decatur. You can receive a free, confidential consultation that will allow our firm to review your case as soon as you call (256) 533-4529 or send us an online message right now.
Alabama Synthetic Drugs Information Center
- How are BAC limits different for commercial drivers in DUI cases?
- What are the possible consequences for alleged offenders convicted in criminal courts?
- How long will a CDL be suspended after a DUI arrest?
Typically, the driver of a regular passenger vehicle can be arrested for DUI if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. However, a motorist cannot drive or be in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle if he or she has a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher.
Even if a truck driver has a BAC of less than 0.04 percent, he or she can be put out-of-service for a period 24 hours if he or she has any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system. All motorists in Alabama are deemed to have given consent to alcohol testing by receiving their driver's licenses, and this is also true for commercial drivers as they are considered to have given consent to chemical testing simply by operating a commercial vehicle.
It is very important to understand that a DUI charge relating to the operation of a private passenger vehicle can still impact a person's CDL privileges as well. If the alleged offender's traditional Class D driver's license is suspended for any reason, then his or her CDL will be automatically disqualified as well. However, the loss of CDL privileges does not have the same automatic effect on Class D licenses.
A commercial driver who is charged with DUI is subject to many of the same punishments concerning imprisonment and fines that any driver of a passenger vehicle would face. These penalties increase with subsequent offenses.
If a driver is convicted of having had a BAC of at least 0.15 percent, his or her sentence will be at least double the minimum punishment he or she would have received had his or her BAC been less than 0.15 percent. Generally, the statutory sentences established under Code of Alabama § 32-5A-191 include:
- First Offense — This is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county or municipal jail and/or fine of not less than $600 nor more than $2,100;
- Second Offense — If alleged offense is committed within five years of first offense, this is a misdemeanor punishable by mandatory minimum of 30 days community service or five days up to one year in the county or municipal jail and/or fine of not less than $1,100 nor more than $5,100 (second offenses that occur more than five years after the first offense may be punishable by up to one year in the county or municipal jail and/or fine of not less than $600 nor more than $2,100);
- Third Offense — This is a misdemeanor punishable by a mandatory minimum of 60 days up to one year in the county or municipal jail and/or fine of not less than $2,100 nor more than $10,100; and
- Fourth or Subsequent Offense — This is a Class C felony punishable by a mandatory minimum of one year and one day up to 10 years in the county jail and/or fine of not less than $4,100 nor more than $10,100.
Mandatory sentences are not subject to suspension or probation.
In addition to the very harsh criminal consequences of a conviction, there can be extraordinary long-term harm caused to the lives of alleged offenders because of administrative actions taken in regards to the alleged offender's CDL. A driver will lose his or her CDL for at least one year if he or she:
- Drives a commercial vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance;
- Drives a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol;
- Drives a commercial vehicle when his or her CDL is suspended;
- Drives a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher; or
- Refuses to undergo blood alcohol testing.
If a driver commits a DUI offense while operating a commercial vehicle that is placarded for hazardous materials (hazmat), then his or her CDL will be suspended for at least three years. Additionally, a commercial driver may lose his or her CDL for life for a second offense.
Find a Commercial Truck DUI Lawyer in Huntsville
Are you concerned about losing your CDL because of a recent DUI arrest in Alabama? Do not delay in seeking experienced and knowledgeable legal representation.
Law Offices Of Segal & Segal aggressively defends commercial drivers from areas throughout Madison County, Jackson County, Morgan County, Marshall County, and Limestone County. Call (256) 533-4529 or send us an online message today to set up a free consultation that will let our Madison County commercial truck DUI attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.