• Will a DUI Ruin My Job as a Commercial Driver in Florida?

Will a DUI Ruin My Job as a Commercial Driver in Florida?

Getting convicted of a DUI as a Commercial Driver in Florida can see you face fines, jail time and your future employment chances destroyed. These are not cases to take lightly, as your CDL license will be taken for at least a year and you’ll face regular DUI penalties.

We urge you to contact our Florida DUI defense lawyers if you’ve been arrested for a DUI as a commercial driver in Florida.

DUI Offenses for Commercial Drivers in Pinellas County

When driving a commercial vehicle or with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Pinellas County, you are held to higher driving standards. The DUI laws are therefore stricter than regular DUI offenses.

  • Commercial driver blood alcohol limit (BAC): 0.04 or higher
  • Regular driver blood alcohol limit (BAC): 0.08 or higher

It is also a crime as a commercial driver in Florida to:

  • Drive under the influence of alcohol
  • Drive under the influence of drugs
  • Refuse a chemical test while driving a commercial vehicle (such as a DUI blood test)
  • Drive a commercial vehicle while in the possession of a controlled substance

What Happens If I Refuse an Alcohol Test as a Commercial Driver in Florida?

  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that all CDL drivers on public U.S. roads are subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing.
  • Refusal to submit a DUI test to law enforcement will see your CDL automatically suspended for one year. A second refusal will leave you permanently banned from having a CDL.

What Will Happen to My Job After a DUI as a Commercial Driver in Florida?

Upon Arrest

When arrested, the law enforcement officer will take your driver’s license and CDL. You may be able to get a temporary regular driver’s license with the help of a DUI defense attorney, but you won’t be able to drive commercial vehicles.

If you’ve been arrested as a commercial driver in Pinellas County, then you should act fast to contact our criminal defense attorneys so we can try to clear your name and save your license.

Upon Conviction

Every driver who is convicted of a DUI offense faces the standard DUI offense penalties. However, they will also face penalties and consequences with their job:

First-Time DUI as a Commercial Driver

  • Disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for one year.
  • CDL disqualification could be extended to three years if you were transporting hazardous substances.

Second-time DUI as a Commercial Driver

  • Permanent disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle

Can I Drive a Commercial Vehicle Again After a DUI in Florida?

  • If you’re convicted of a DUI, you cannot apply for a CDL for one year (or, three years if the vehicle was transporting hazardous content).
  • If this is your second DUI, you will be unable to receive a CDL ever again.

It is possible that after a first-time DUI in Florida, you can drive a commercial vehicle again, but it’s going to be tough. Most delivery, trucking and tax companies are not interested in hiring drivers with a poor record.

Can I Get My CDL Back After a DUI Conviction?

If you were arrested for a DUI while driving a non-commercial vehicle, you may be able to get the CDL back in a far quicker time than if you were arrested while driving a commercial vehicle (which can take at least a year). Either way, you will likely have to reapply.

The Impact of DUI Ridesharing Drivers in Florida

Ridesharing drivers are not required to have a CDL. However, they usually see their rideshare opportunities go away after a DUI in Florida.

For example, Uber performs background checks on all drivers on the app which includes criminal and driving records. Their policy states that any offense committed in recent years can affect one’s ability to work with the Uber app.

What to Do After a DUI Arrest as a Commercial Driver in Florida?

You’re in the right place. The best thing you can do is to contact an experienced Florida DUI defense lawyer. This is not something to take chances with; your future is on the line (both for prison time and employment).

All is not lost just yet. There may have been a misunderstanding or an infringement of your rights that could see the case thrown out. Our criminal defense lawyers can investigate that for you. We urge you to:

  • Stay calm and follow police instructions.
  • Do not admit fault.
  • Reply ‘no comment’ if you are asked questions that could incriminate you.
  • Ask to speak to your lawyer, as is your right.
  • Do not make posts on social media.
  • Try to privately remember everything that happened, such as:
    • What the officer asked you to do
    • What you replied to the officer
    • What reason the officer gave you for pulling you over
    • How much you had to drink
    • When you had the drink
    • How the breathalyzer test was performed
    • How field sobriety tests were performed
    • Any other information you can remember from the arrest

Further Resources on DUIs as a Commercial Driver in Florida

Commercial Driver DUI Defense Attorney in Pinellas County, FL

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI as a Commercial Driver in Pinellas County, Florida then please contact our criminal defense lawyers for a swift and aggressive response.

Our experienced team regularly helps professional drivers with both unlawful arrests or in need of a strong defense, to gain a future free from the consequences of prison and a criminal record.

Free Consultations

Our Pinellas County criminal defense attorneys at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., are part of one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms. We have the reputation and connections to make things happen.

Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300