Consequences of DUIs for Commercial Driver’s License Holders

While one would think that driving as a source of employment could be a mitigating factor in the way Colonial Heights courts treat DUI charges, judges and commonwealth’s attorneys heavily frown upon such defendants. As a result, a commercial driver’s license holder facing DUI charges should seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney who could preserve their license and employment.

Mitigating and Aggravating Circumstances

Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence and simultaneously utilizing a commercial driver’s license is viewed as an aggravating factor in a DUI case. Drivers are held to a higher standard when operating a commercial vehicle.

For a commercial driver who was charged with driving under the influence outside of their professional duties, however, a commercial driver’s license could be viewed as a mitigating circumstance when it comes to sentencing. Defendants are not held to a higher standard just because they drive for a living, and judges may prefer not to harm their predominant source of income.

Consequences For a Commercial Driver’s License Holder Charged with a DUI

If a commercial driver’s license holder in Colonial Heights is charged with a DUI, the immediate consequence will be an administrative suspension. For a first-time DUI offense, there is a seven-day administrative suspension of the commercial license.

Depending on their employer, a driver may also be suspended from work following a DUI charge. It is important to remember that an administrative suspension begins upon arrest, not upon conviction, which would come later.

Consequences of a DUI Conviction

If a commercial driver’s license holder is convicted of a DUI in Colonial Heights, they are probably going to serve a jail sentence. In addition, there is a one-year loss of license for their regular, non-commercial license.

In most cases, a commercial driver’s license will also be revoked upon a first DUI conviction, and the convicted driver will be barred from applying for a new commercial driver’s license for a period of one to three years. There is not a restricted license available for a first-time commercial driver’s license DUI offender.

Second or Subsequent Offenses

The long-term implications change significantly on a second or subsequent DUI offense. On a second DUI, the individual may not only be unable to have a license for one to three years, but they may also permanently lose the ability to be a commercial driver. If professional driving was their livelihood and the way in which they supported their family, a subsequent DUI offense could have serious repercussions.

How a DUI Attorney Could Help

A DUI attorney could fight tooth and nail to get a defendant’s charge dismissed, reduced, or amended so that they could continue to hold their commercial driver’s license, operate their commercial vehicle, and make money for themselves and for their family.

If you hold a commercial driver’s license and are facing DUI charges, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The consequences of a conviction may be severe, and a lawyer could work to mitigate the most severe penalties.