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Are DUI laws the same for commercial drivers?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2016 | DUI |

Whether you are considering applying to become a commercial driver, or you currently hold a commercial driving position, it is important to understand the laws regarding drinking and driving because they differ from standard driving the laws. Tractor-trailer truck drivers, bus drivers, and other commercial drivers are held to a higher standard in the eyes of the law. 

Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard because the stakes are higher if they were to crash. Commercial trucks are larger and can, therefore, cause significantly more damage to passengers in an automobile. Commercial drivers are also more likely to be carrying hazardous materials, which have the potential to explode if involved in an accident. Commercial drivers driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs pose a serious liability to their employers and a significant threat to public safety.

Who is considered a commercial driver? 

  • Drivers for private motor carriers
  • Someone who leases or owns commercial vehicles
  • Someone who assigns drivers of commercial vehicles
  • Motor carriers for hire
  • Church drivers
  • Drivers for civic organizations such as disabled persons transport, the Girl Scouts or community centers

Lower Blood Alcohol Limits

The BAC level considered over the legal limit for commercial drivers is half the normal amount for standard drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets acceptable BAC levels at .04% for commercial drivers. In addition the lower BAC limits, it is illegal for the commercial driver to drive within four hours of consuming alcohol.

A CDL holder caught driving with a BAC over .04% is subject to the same DUI laws as a non-commercial driver, but because they were effectively drinking on the job, they could face longer license suspensions and possibly lose their job.

If you were arrested for the DUI as a CDL-holder, it is crucial you contact our skilled Lincoln DUI attorney today.