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Home > Blog > OUI/DUI/DWI > OUI and Commercial Driver Licenses
Apr 10, 2015

OUI and Commercial Driver Licenses

Being charged for Operating Under the Influence (OUI) in Maine can be incredibly stressful and expensive. You will have your driving license suspended as soon as you’re arrested. You will be fined a minimum of $500, and your costs can easily spiral over $5,000 with attorney and court fees, towing costs, loss of work income, an alcohol education course, and an increase in your insurance payments. You could even go to jail if there are aggravating factors, like if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was more than 0.15%, you were driving more than 30mph over the speed limit, or tried eluding a police officer. All of these penalties grow exponentially if it’s your second, third, or fourth OUI charge.

But imagine if your livelihood depended on your ability to drive.

Many people, particularly in Maine, work as professional drivers. In Maine, in order to transport more than 26,000 pounds of cargo, or hazardous materials, or drive 16 or more people in a vehicle, drivers must have a commercial driver license (CDL). Importantly, this includes bus and truck drivers. With the ability to carry more passengers or cargo, though, the importance of driving safely grows, as well, and this is reflected in Maine’s OUI laws. While a 0.08% BAC results in regular drivers being charged with OUI, commercial drivers can get charged for OUI with only a 0.04% BAC. If you’re a CDL holder and you get convicted for OUI – even for the first time – you will lose your license for an entire year. To make matters worse, if you were arrested for OUI while transporting hazardous waste, that suspension jumps up to three years. A second conviction for OUI results in a permanent loss of your CDL. As if this weren’t enough, this is all in addition to the fines and potential jail time that comes with a non-commercial driver’s OUI conviction.

The realities of Maine’s OUI laws with regard to CDL holders are harsh. Not only do CDL holders have to pay the minimum $500 fine and court and attorney costs, and face the potential jail time if there are other aggravating factors, but they also lose their CDL for an entire year, and as many as three years, even for a first offense. This is a license that commercial drivers absolutely must have in order to continue working as a professional driver, so any suspension, even for only a few weeks, greatly impacts their ability to provide an income for themselves, their families, and any other dependents they have.

Don’t let an OUI arrest ruin your career. If you or a loved one have a CDL license in the state of Maine and are facing OUI charges, call the offices of William T. Bly at (207) 571-8146. As an experienced OUI attorney, he will insure that your rights are protected, and will see that you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

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