DWI Defense for Commercial Drivers

Commercial drivers who have been arrested and charged with a DWI or DUI face serious penalties. For first offenses, your commercial driver’s license be suspended or revoked for a year. Refusal to submit to a test may also result in a one-year suspension of your commercial driver’s license. In addition, you may be disqualified from driving HAZMAT vehicles. If this is not your first offense, you could be facing a lifetime ban.

A conviction of a DWI or DUI on your criminal record can seriously jeopardize your job. The state maintains driving records for commercial drivers, which include all convictions, disqualifications, and other driving violations, making it difficult to obtain future employment. In addition to the consequences for your career, you could be facing the consequences of a regular DUI, including loss of your regular driver’s license, significant fines, and even jail time.

For commercial drivers, Louisiana law is very severe regarding DWI and DUI. Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, commercial drivers are subject to random drug and alcohol testing by their employer before, during, or after driving. These tests look for a variety of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine. Many drugs or their metabolites stay in your system for a significant period of time after use, even several weeks.

The FMCSA rules for DWI or DUI apply to drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) while driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

In addition, state and local police may test commercial drivers on suspicion of alcohol or drug use while on the road or after an accident. In comparison with non-commercial drivers, who are permitted to have a blood alcohol content of less than 0.08% while driving, commercial drivers may only have a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.04% while driving a commercial vehicle. This lower limit exposes many more commercial drivers to potential DWI/DUI charges.

FMSCA regulations permit a state to reinstate a driver that has been disqualified for life if 10 years has passed and if after 10 years and if that person has voluntarily entered and completed a rehabilitation program approved by the state. However, this does not allow drivers to be reinstated more than once.

If you’re a commercial driver who has been charged with a DWI or DUI, contact Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias to protect your driving privileges and maintain your livelihood. We can discuss any consequences you may be facing, examine your case, and work with you to obtain the best outcome possible for your case.