Commercial Vehicle DUIs – What 2 Convictions Mean in Florida
A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious matter in the State of Florida. This is true for the driver of any vehicle. Multiple DUI convictions simply raise the stakes, especially in terms of greater penalties for the impaired driver. Once again, this is true for the driver of any vehicle, especially drivers of commercial vehicles.
While drivers of a passenger vehicle face enhanced penalties for multiple DUI convictions, the enhancement for drivers of commercial vehicles is quite severe. The enhancement can also easily mean the end of one’s career. Do not let a mistake in judgment destroy your life and livelihood. If you are a commercial driver facing a second DUI charge, it is imperative that you contact an experienced DUI defense attorney today.
Florida Law on Commercial Vehicle DUI
Florida law is clear. A driver holding a commercial driver license (CDL) may be guilty of a commercial vehicle DUI if he has a blood alcohol content of .04, or higher, while driving a commercial vehicle; or, is otherwise found to be impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance when driving a commercial vehicle. Note that a blood alcohol content of .04 is a much lower standard than the .08 content that applies to drivers of passenger vehicles. A driver holding a CDL may also be guilty of a commercial vehicle DUI if he refuses to consent to a chemical test to determine blood alcohol content, or to a test that identifies the presence of drugs in his system.
Penalties For Florida Commercial Vehicle DUI Convictions – When Two Are Too Many
As with the law in this area, the penalties for a commercial vehicle DUI conviction are equally as clear. A driver found guilty of a commercial vehicle DUI will lose his CDL for twelve months, during which time the driver may not operate a commercial vehicle of any kind. In many DUI cases involving drivers of passenger vehicles, a driver may obtain a hardship license or work permit. No such work permit or license is available in commercial vehicle DUI cases.
Yes, the above penalties are severe. But, what happens if the driver of a commercial vehicle is found guilty of a second commercial vehicle DUI? The quick answer is that the driver better look for employment in another profession.
If the driver of a commercial vehicle receives a second DUI conviction, he will be permanently disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle. “Permanently disqualified” means just as the phrase implies. The commercial vehicle driver will never be able to drive a commercial vehicle again. Unlike baseball, two strikes are more than enough to get an out.
The same holds true with regards to a commercial vehicle driver refusing to provide a breath or blood test. If the driver of a commercial vehicle is faced with his second offense of refusing breath or blood tests after a DUI arrest, he will be permanently disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle. Again, “permanently disqualified” means the same as above. The commercial vehicle driver will never be able to drive a commercial vehicle again.
In commercial vehicle DUI cases, two really does mean one too many. One conviction for the charge of commercial vehicle DUI can pose substantial hardships on an individual’s personal and professional lives. Two convictions can mean the end of the road for the commercial vehicle driver. This means the loss of his CDL and the loss of his profession.
As stated above, do not let a mistake in judgment jeopardize your career and livelihood. If you are facing a second charge of commercial vehicle DUI, contact our team today. Our firm has the expertise and passion to help you fight your case and restore your future.
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