Auburn Commercial DUI Lawyer
A drunk driving charge can be a significant problem for anyone, but the stakes are even higher for commercial drivers. If you hold a CDL in Auburn, AL, your career and employment are on the line. Further, a DUI conviction could be based on a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level as low as 0.4 percent. In contrast, a passenger vehicle driver is considered legally drunk only if they have a BAC level of 0.8 or higher. The reason behind the difference in BAC limits is that commercial motor vehicles are capable of causing far greater damage in the event of an accident – owing to their massive size, weight, and the amount of cargo they tend to carry – compared to passenger vehicles. This is why drivers of commercial vehicles are generally held to a higher standard compared to drivers of passenger vehicles.
The skilled attorneys at Alsobrook Law Group provide dependable counsel on DUI offenses for CDL holders in Auburn, AL. Our firm is known for obtaining favorable outcomes in DUI trials. To build a robust commercial DUI defense, we will draw upon our extensive resources and knowledge to protect your best interests.
DUI Regulations for Commercial Drivers in Auburn, AL
Under Alabama law, DUI is defined as being with a BAC level of over 0.08 or higher while impaired by alcohol or other substances. But the standard for commercial drivers is higher in terms of DUI and driving regulations as the potential danger of a crash in a commercial vehicle is so high.
Summarily, Alabama law warrants that a commercial driver with any traceable amount of alcohol in their bloodstream can be put out of service for 24 hours after a failed BAC test. A commercial driver with a BAC of 0.04 percent or above can be arrested in Auburn for a commercial DUI and have their license suspended. If the driver refuses to take a BAC test, it could result in a two-year suspension prohibiting the operation of a commercial vehicle.
Your commercial license can also be impacted even if you are driving your personal vehicle. For example, a DUI when driving a passenger vehicle will lead to a one-year suspension of your commercial license, even if you were not operating a commercial vehicle at the time. Alabama does not have any provisions for a hardship license. Thus, this suspension will imply that you will not be able to drive professionally for at least one year.
Sadly, a DUI driving record spells the end of their careers for many commercial drivers. Employers are unlikely to employ you with a record of a DUI, even after your license is reinstated after the suspension period.
To protect your license and your career, it is vital to speak to an Auburn, AL DUI attorney as soon as possible after you are accused of a commercial DUI. Your DUI lawyer can help you in exploring defenses, such as questioning the accuracy of your breath test or alleging that your constitutional rights were violated by police to allow you to get evidence against you suppressed.
Auburn, AL Commercial Truck DUI Criminal Penalties
A commercial driver charged for DUI is subject to several of the same punishments regarding imprisonment and fines that any motorist of a passenger vehicle would face. DUI penalties increase with subsequent violations. If a driver is found to have a BAC of 0.15 percent or above, their sentence will be at least double the minimum punishment they would have received if their BAC had been under 0.15 percent. In general, Alabama law includes the following statutory sentences:
A first DUI offense is classed as a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in a municipal or county jail and/or fine between $600 and $2,100.
If the second violation occurs within five years of the initial DUI offense, this is classified as a misdemeanor punishable by a mandatory minimum of 30 days of community service or between five days to one year in a municipal or county jail and/or a fine between $1,100 and $5,100. If the second offense occurs more than five years after the first offense, it may be punishable by up to one year in municipal or county jail and/or a fine between $600 and $2,100.
A third DUI offense is classified as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 60 days to one year in municipal or county jail and/or fine between $2,100 and $10,100.
Fourth or Subsequent Offense
Fourth or subsequent DUI offenses are Class C felonies punishable by a mandatory minimum of one year and one day up to ten years in county jail and/or a fine between $4,100 and $10,100.
Potential Defenses to a DUI for CDL Drivers
Did the law enforcement officer have reasonable suspicion to justify a traffic stop? If the law enforcement officers cannot state why they stopped you, then they may not have been following the regulations in place to protect you from unwarranted search and seizure. In cases of this sort, a defense attorney could have the evidence thrown out, or your case could even be dismissed entirely.
Did you allegedly fail a field sobriety test? Such “standardized” tests are riddled with all kinds of problems. Environmental factors, medical issues, and improper instructions can cause completely sober individuals to ostensibly fail the tests. Law enforcement officers may not be keen to hear why you failed the test and may decide to arrest you irrespective of whether you are actually sober.
Did your breath or blood test over the legal limit? Similar to people, machines aren’t perfect. Chemical testing results are subject to error if the machines are not appropriately cleaned, calibrated, or maintained. Furthermore, urine and blood chemical testing can be contaminated if not handled in accordance with the guidelines. Breath tests can be incorrect as well and set off by other factors that do not involve alcohol consumption.
Hire an Experienced Commercial DUI Attorney in Auburn, AL
The skilled attorneys at Alsobrook Law Group represent truckers and other commercial driving professionals facing DUI charges in Auburn, AL. We offer comprehensive services during every phase of your case, from the arrest to trial. In doing so, we undertake everything we can to protect your CDL.
Our consolidated approach to the administrative and criminal facets of DUI defense helps develop the evidence that can expose the limitations of the prosecution’s case against you. We know that a truck driver cannot afford to have their license suspended, and we will work hard to protect your interests, whether you were apprehended in your commercial vehicle or you were driving off duty when you were arrested.
No matter how and why you were arrested, a DUI case poses a potential threat to your commercial driver’s license and your career. To learn about how we can help protect your rights, call (334) 737-3718 in Auburn for a free and confidential consultation to explore your best legal options.