Trucking Under the Influence: DUI and Your Commercial Driver’s License

Posted by James Ferguson | Jun 01, 2019 | 0 Comments

Driving under the influence is a serious offense. It can bring about serious accidents resulting in severe injuries and death. Given the dangers of DUI, individuals with commercial driver's licenses have even more responsibility to drive sober. With the skill required to obtain and maintain a commercial driver's license, holders are held to a stricter standard should they receive a driving under the influence charge. Therefore, DUI laws and penalties governing holders of commercial driver's licenses are more stringent. The law does not grant many chances for rehabilitation because commercial licenses are tied to a profession. Secondly, given the large-scale trucks driven by holders of commercial driver's licenses, there is a higher likelihood of damage and injury if an accident should occur.

DUI Law for Holders of Commercial Driver's Licenses
According to Mississippi law, an individual who holds a commercial driver's license found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .04% while operating a commercial vehicle is guilty of a DUI. To receive a charge for a normal DUI (a DUI for holders of a standard driver's license), the offender must have a blood alcohol of .08% or more. The percentage of .04 is much lower than the BAC that governs holders of standard driver's licenses. As a result, a holder of a commercial driver's license can consume less alcohol than a holder of a standard license and still receive a DUI charge. In effect, the statute seeks to discourage drinking before operating a commercial vehicle as a matter of policy. This is more evident given the harsher penalties associated with the offense.

Penalties for Holders of Commercial Driver's Licenses
Violating a commercial license DUI statute can result in harsh penalties. A first DUI conviction in this context will result in a one-year license suspension. A subsequent DUI conviction will result in a permanent suspension of the commercial driver's license. A similar refusal penalty structure applies to holders of commercial licenses. However, they are much more severe. A first refusal to take a Breathalyzer will result in a one-year license suspension. A second refusal to take a Breathalyzer will result in a permanent license suspension. The more aggravating the circumstances surrounding the offense, the more likely the offender will receive harsher penalties, which can also include jail time and steep fines.

Your DUI Attorney
Attorney James Robert Ferguson is an experienced DUI attorney with years of experience defending DUI cases. Driving under the influence while operating a commercial vehicle is a serious crime. If you have been charged with DUI as a holder of a commercial driver's license, you need an experienced attorney. Attorney Ferguson is well versed in commercial DUI cases. Attorney Ferguson understands the importance of putting the charge behind you. Call us now for a consultation.

See related blog posts:
Expect These Penalties for a First-Time DUI Conviction
A Closer Look at Mississippi’s First Offender DUI Law

About the Author

James Ferguson

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. During college, I studied at East Tennessee State University, where I received a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice, which I then followed up with a Master's in Criminology from the University of Memphis. Before beginning my legal career, I worked as a Project Coordinator at the University of Memphis, where I assisted in training law enforcement officers in the Memphis Model of Crisis Intervention Training. The purpose of the project was to provide officers with the tools to deal with citizens in a state of mental crisis. I then went on to study law at the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson. During law school, I clerked with Victor W. Carmody, Jr., the lawyer who wrote the book on DUI law in Mississippi. I am currently licensed to practice law in both Tennessee and Mississippi, and spend a majority of my time traveling the highways and biways of Mississippi defending those who have been charged with a DUI.


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