Penalties for Professional and Commercial Drivers Who Commit DUIs in Arizona
People who hold a commercial driving license (CDL) are held to higher standards when it comes to committing violations on the road, particularly violations involving the use of alcohol or illicit substances. Drivers who have the CDL can operate commercial vehicles like trucks and buses. When they commit a violation, they will face the consequences even if they were driving a personal automobile. They would be considered commercial drivers who commit DUIs in Arizona. Their CDL could be taken away and the reinstatement procedure is usually a cumbersome one.
CDLs and Driving Under the Influence
A commercial driving license can be discontinued whenever a driver is found guilty of driving under the influence, when they’ve used a vehicle to commit a felony or when they refuse to have their blood alcohol content (BAC) taken.
A commercial driver who has BAC of over 0.8 percent can be arrested in Arizona. Both a personal license and their CDL will be suspended. When the driver is operating a vehicle with a BAC in the range from 0.4 to 0.8 percent, their commercial license will be suspended.
A few other offenses that could contribute to the suspension of the CDL include the following:
- Fleeing the scene of an accident
- Failing to meet medical standards that are a requirement for commercial drivers
- Committing any other alcohol or drug-related offense
- Failing to appear in court
- Failing to pay a ticket
Apart from being subjected to Arizona state laws pertaining to DUIs and traffic violations, commercial drivers will also have to adhere to federal regulations. These are imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
FMCSA regulations suggest that CDL suspension or disqualification for a certain period of time could occur because of excessive speeding, reckless driving, DUI offenses and committing a hit and run and violating out-of-service orders.
DUI Penalties for Commercial Drivers in Arizona
Whenever a holder of a CDL commits a DUI in Arizona, they will be charged with at least a Class 1 misdemeanor. The fines and the penalties for commercial drivers who commit DUIs in Arizona will be a lot harsher than those for personal vehicle operators who drive under the influence.
Drivers who commit a DUI and have BAC of 0.05 to 0.15 percent will face a penalty of minimum 10 days in jail and a fine of 1,250 dollars or more. A second-time offense will result in a minimum jail sentence of 90 days, a fine of at least 3,000 dollars and a license revocation for a period of 12 months.
CDL holders who have BAC of over 0.15 percent face a minimum of 30 days in jail and a fine of 2,500 dollars or more. Second-time offenders will have to spend a minimum of 120 days in jail, the fine will be at least 3,250 dollars and they also could experience a license revocation for 12 months.
Anyone who refuses to submit to a BAC test will experience CDL revocation for 12 months. The suspension could be increased to 24 months in the case of previous offenses.
Defense and CDL Reinstatement
A restricted Arizona driving license can be obtained after committing a DUI but this license cannot be used for the operation of a commercial vehicle. Such a license is typically issued to allow a person to go to work or drive to another authorized location.
Whenever a commercial driver objects to their DUI charge, they could challenge it in court. Hiring a skilled attorney will be imperative for the selection of the best defense strategy. Depending on the experience of the lawyer and the severity of the violation, it may be possible to get the sentence reduced or to have the charges dropped altogether for commercial drivers who commit DUIs in Arizona.