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Commercial vehicles are particularly dangerous on our roadways since their size and weight so greatly outmatches the average vehicle. Thusly, there are different rules applicable to commercial vehicles and their drivers, even where driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is concerned. If you are facing a DUI conviction involving a commercial vehicle, it is critical that you find a professional DUI attorney to fight for your rights and protect your future.
Lower BAC Level
For the average driver of a personal vehicle, the legal BAC limit is .08%, but for drivers of commercial vehicles, this number is lowered to half that amount: .04%. If you are caught driving a commercial vehicle and your blood alcohol content is higher than this smaller number you will be charged with driving under the influence, even if you are under the legal limit of .08%. Commercial vehicles are so much larger that they create very serious hazards for other drivers even under optimal conditions, so there is less tolerance for alcohol in a commercial driver’s blood.
It takes a special driver’s license known as a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL for short) to drive these oversized vehicles, in addition to a regular driver’s license. If you are convicted of DUI in Maine, you will not only lose your driving privileges for your personal vehicle but your commercial driving privileges as well. The minimum suspension period for a CDL is one year unless your vehicle is carrying hazardous materials. In HAZMAT cases the suspension period is a minimum of three years.
A repeat offense is treated very harshly for operators of commercial vehicles in the state of Maine, with a required lifetime CDL suspension. This could mean losing your source of income and starting over, but keep in mind that the conviction will still be there regardless of what type of driving you are hoping to do and you are unlikely to find any driving-related job. Maine does not have any tolerance for repeat offenses where commercial vehicles are concerned, and losing your livelihood after a second offense is the strongest deterrent imaginable.
Like other types of out-of-state drivers, the laws are slightly different for out-of-state commercial drivers as well. Being under the .04% limit while driving a commercial vehicle on an out-of-state license means that you are going to be held for 24 hours, time for the alcohol to leave your system before you are allowed to continue on your delivery. This holds true for any amount above 0.00% and 0.039%.
Driving your personal vehicle but having a CDL license is a sticky situation if you are convicted of a DUI, even if it is your first offense. Regardless of whether you are operating your commercial vehicle at the time of the arrest, if you hold a CDL and are convicted of DUI your CDL is suspended for a minimum of one year for first offenses. This will still be in addition to the loss of driving privileges on your regular driver’s license.
If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with
one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys
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