In the state of Minnesota, many good men and women drive commercial vehicles. It is a career that offers financial freedom if you are willing and able to work difficult hours and are able to keep strict schedules.
Like other drivers, those who operate commercial vehicles are sometimes accused of impaired driving. When this happens, one has a lot to lose, as a DUI or DWI conviction can suspend or end one’s career. If you are a commercial driver who is facing a charge of driving while impaired, you have the right to a criminal defense.
Drug and alcohol testing is in place to deter intoxicated driving
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), sets very specific safety guidelines with which commercial drivers are to adhere. Mandatory drug and alcohol testing is one of many safety requirements. Not only are CDL (commercial driver’s license) holders supposed to submit to mandatory testing at frequent intervals, but the FMCSA has also set limits regarding what are acceptable blood-alcohol levels — which are lower than those allowed for non-commercial drivers.
What happens if I fail an alcohol test?
If a commercial driver’s test results show a blood-alcohol level of .04 or above, according to the FMCSA, he or she is legally intoxicated. If this testing took place as part of a routine traffic stop or after an accident, the driver is likely to be arrested and charged with drunk driving. Potential penalties of a criminal DUI conviction include:
- License suspension
- Jail time
- Court ordered rehabilitation
- Payment of fines
If such results come from periodic testing for employment purposes, the driver may have his or her license suspended or revoked. This could result in the loss of employment.
What can I do if charged with drunk driving?
Those charged and convicted on an impaired driving charges must report the DUIs to their employers within 30 days. In accordance with FMCSA regulations, employers cannot employ drivers if their licenses have been suspended. Obviously, this makes fighting DUI charges or working to minimize the potential consequences of such a charge of great importance.
If you are facing DUI charges, this is not just about dealing with the criminal aspects of it, it is about protecting your livelihood. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate through the Minnesota criminal court system and assist you in getting your CDL reinstated if it has been suspended or revoked.