Holding a commercial driver’s license, CDL, is a responsibility thousands of people have in the state of Maryland. Drivers who have a CDL are held to a higher standard when it comes to their behavior behind the wheel or their driving record. For starters, it is easier to be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if you have a CDL than it is for drivers with a non-commercial license. How? A DUI for a CDL driver is 0.04, while the legal limit for a non-commercial driver is 0.08. This means that in some case, you could be charged for DUI even if you’ve had just one drink. Here is a look at some of the penalties associated with DUI if you are a commercial truck driver.
Suspension of a CDL for DUI
Under the law in Maryland, if you are arrested and charged for DUI while operating any type of vehicle, you can have your CDL suspended. This means that if you were driving your personal vehicle and you were stopped for DUI, your CDL will be at risk for suspension. A commercial driver can face a suspension of their CDL for one year for any of the following:
- Driving under the influence at a blood alcohol content of 0.04
- Driving under the influence of any controlled substance
- Refusing to submit to a blood or breath test under the implied consent laws of Maryland
- Being the cause of a fatality while operating any type of vehicle (commercial or personal) while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
There is another stipulation to being pulled over, charged, and convicted for DUI while operating a commercial vehicle. That stipulation is that if you were driving a commercial vehicle with a hazardous load, your CDL can be suspended for a total of three years. If the DUI conviction was your second, in either a commercial or personal vehicle, you risk losing your CDL for life. There are instances when a judge might reinstate your CDL after you have served a 10-year suspension, but these are rare.
Restricted License for a Commercial Driver?
Many drivers who have been arrested and convicted for DUI are able to apply for and receive a restricted license. A restricted license allows drivers who have been convicted for DUI to drive to and from specific places. For example, the driver might be allowed to drive to work, school, the doctor or another location. Is there a restricted license option for a commercial driver? Under Maryland law, there is not. If you have been arrested and convicted for DUI, you will lose your CDL for at least one year.
Penalties for Commercial DUI
The penalties you could face if you are convicted for commercial DUI in Maryland include the following on a first offense:
- Up to one year in jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Not permitted to drive a commercial vehicle for up to one year
- Not permitted to drive a commercial vehicle for up to one year if you were transporting hazardous materials
- Loss of CDL for life if this is your second DUI conviction
- Could also face penalties from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
If you were charged and convicted for DUI prior to ever holding a CDL, it is possible that you could still apply for one. It is always best to explain this to an attorney and have them investigate your record. Being convicted for DUI as a commercial driver can ruin your career, especially if it is your second conviction, which can result in the loss of your CDL for life.
Talk to an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Have you been charged for DUI in Maryland? Do you have a CDL? Are you worried that you could lose your CDL? Losing your CDL can cost you your livelihood and cause financial hardship for you and your family. With so much on the line, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Call the office of Grabo Law, LLC today at 301-938-7652 to schedule a consultation or complete the contact form found on the website and someone will reach out to you as soon as possible.