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Commercial OUI: The Aftermath of a Conviction






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Oct 13, 2011

Commercial OUI: The Aftermath of a Conviction

Even with professional help from a licensed, experienced OUI attorney, your life could change in a lot of ways if you are convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving a commercial vehicle. These large vehicles carry the potential for extensive damage to people and property, and the implications mean heavier sentences upon conviction. Here are just a few of the ways that a commercial OUI conviction can change your life, assuming that you were driving your commercial vehicle at the time of the offense:

You lose your driver’s license for at least a year. Individuals who rely on operating a commercial vehicle as their sole source of income will be forced to find another line of work, at least temporarily. Cases that include any type of aggravating factor, such as transporting HAZMAT—hazardous materials—or leaving the scene of the crime, for instance, can carry three years at a minimum. A second OUI means that you lose your CDL permanently in most states, with no exceptions for long-term good behavior.

You are not eligible for most early reinstatement methods. When you are operating a passenger vehicle and are arrested for OUI, as long as you follow the police officer’s instructions, have no aggravating factors, and have never been convicted of OUI, there is some chance that you may be allowed to get your license back early. In most situations, this means that you will need to get an ignition interlock device (IID), attend court-ordered alcohol education courses, or something similar. With a commercial OUI conviction, this is no longer an option.

It could be harder to find a job once you get your CDL back. With the OUI on your record, top trucking companies or bus agencies may be less likely to hire you, especially during the first three years after conviction. It could be very challenging to find a company that is willing to take the risk even if your behavior since the conviction has been stellar and you followed all of the recommendations and mandatory penalties of the court. This could mean finding an alternative employment source even after you have finished the court-ordered period of license suspension.

Social stigma can be even fiercer. This is especially true if there were deaths or serious injuries related to your OUI arrest, but even extensive damage to the vehicle is remembered for a very long time. When the media gets involved with the situation, such as because of an accident related to the OUI, the public will be made aware of the fact that alcohol was involved, too. This can be a problem for years to come until people have forgotten that your name was related to a certain case.



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