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CDL and DUI in Wheeling
As a highly reputed Wheeling WV DUI lawyer, Sean Logue emphatically emphasizes the detrimental consequences of receiving an DUI charge for CDL-licensed drivers. The penalties associated with a conviction are undeniably severe, potentially leading to immediate job loss for the driver.
For CDL-licensed drivers, the legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) holds significant weight. Exceeding this limit or refusing chemical testing mandates the immediate surrender of the CDL license and may result in a first-degree misdemeanor charge if non-compliance persists.
Compliance with testing revealing a BAC below .04 percent warrants a 24-hour “out of service” status. However, refusing testing or registering a BAC above .04 percent will lead to a one-year suspension of the CDL license for the first offense.
A subsequent DUI stop, accompanied by a BAC test failure (i.e., exceeding .08 percent), results in the permanent revocation of the CDL license, even if the offense occurred in another state. This law, enacted on January 27, 2012, stands unequivocally.
In addition to these penalties, legal proceedings introduce further consequences, including the suspension of driving privileges for any motor vehicle.
Implied Consent and a CDL License
When it comes to implied consent and a CDL license, holders are bound by the commitment they make upon accepting their license. They agree to undergo chemical testing when requested by an officer or state trooper, encompassing blood, breath, or urine samples. Failure to comply with this requirement, according to Section 4511.191 of the West Virginia Revised Code, results in an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) and disqualification from operating commercial motor vehicles.
Given this added consequence, immediate action becomes imperative for CDL holders facing an ALS. Filing an appeal within 30 days of the initial court appearance for the DUI charge is the sole means of avoiding disqualification from driving commercial vehicles. Even if the driver is acquitted of all charges, failure to successfully appeal the ALS will maintain the disqualification.
For a first-time offense, the driver faces a one-year disqualification. Subsequent offenses lead to a lifetime disqualification, unless authorities amend the regulations under the direction of the United States transportation secretary and director of public safety.
By restructuring the information and enhancing its delivery, these intricacies of DUI charges for CDL-licensed drivers become more engaging and understandable.
Legal BAC Limit for CDL Licensees
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders is lower compared to the general population. CDL holders are held to a stricter limit of 0.04 percent. Even if a CDL holder was not actively driving while arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence (DUI), they can still face a one-year administrative license suspension (ALS).
CDL suspensions can occur for various reasons:
- Refusing chemical testing results in a one-year suspension.
- Operating under the influence of a controlled substance leads to a one-year suspension.
- Having a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher results in a one-year suspension.
- Using a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony warrants a one-year suspension.
If a CDL holder is operating a vehicle with hazardous materials placards, a suspension of three years will be imposed.
Driving Suspensions and CDLs
Regarding driving suspensions and CDLs, if a CDL holder receives an ALS, they are prohibited from obtaining work-related limited driving privileges if the work involves operating a commercial vehicle. Limited driving privileges may be granted for court appearances, medical visits, school, or non-commercial work.
It’s important to note that disqualifications mandated by federal law cannot be shortened, changed, or canceled.
Second DUI Convictions for CDL Holders
For CDL holders, a second DUI conviction typically results in a lifetime CDL suspension. However, there are a few exceptions:
- A first out-of-service violation leads to a 90-day suspension.
- A second out-of-service violation carries a one-year suspension.
- A third out-of-service violation entails a three-year suspension.
If you are facing DUI charges or need assistance with CDL-related matters, Sean Logue, an experienced and tenacious Wheeling WV criminal lawyer, is here to fight for your rights. Contact us at (304) 381-3656.
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