It goes without saying that a commercial driver’s license is crucial to the livelihood of people who drive trucks and other commercial vehicles for a living. There are few traffic violations that can create as many problems for a commercial driver as an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI).
If you have been charged with commercial DUI, your livelihood and future are in severe jeopardy. It is crucial to understand the personal and professional risks you face. You could lose your CDL for up to a year on a first violation, and any subsequent arrests for DUI may result in permanent loss of your CDL. The right commercial DUI attorney will be able to look at the charges and of the evidence from the standpoint of helping you keep your professional license.
Not only are you in danger of losing your CDL license, but you might lose your personal driving privileges. Your attorney will work diligently to make sure this does not happen. He will also work to ensure that you do not lose time to a jail sentence that could have been avoided. A DUI of any type is a serious charge, and your defense attorney will attack these charges as seriously as any other DUI situation.
A commercial DUI is something that could haunt you for years to come. Your lawyer wants to make sure that not only are you able to keep your current job, but that you can still drive professionally in the future. He has the ability to look at all of the evidence and test results to determine whether they were performed fairly and correctly.
I’m attorney Christian A. Schwaner, and I will aggressively defend you if you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI. I will fight to protect your CDL and help you keep the license that is crucial to your life and livelihood. I will be ready to provide an honest evaluation of your case as soon as you call me at (719) 577-9700 or reach out online to set up a 100% confidential consultation.
Colorado Commercial DUI Charges
Colorado Revised Statute § 42-4-1301 is the state DUI law that establishes a person commits DUI when they drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs. A person who drives with a BAC of 0.08 or more commits DUI “per se,” the Latin phrase for “by itself” or “in itself.”
Colorado Revised Statute § 42-2-126(c) establishes that “Excess BAC CDL” is defined as a person driving a commercial motor vehicle in Colorado with a BAC of 0.04 or more at the time of the alleged offense.
Under Colorado Revised Statute § 42-2-126(e), “Excess BAC underage CDL” means that an individual was less than 21 years of age and drove a commercial motor vehicle in Colorado with a BAC in excess of 0.02 but less than 0.04 at the time of driving or at any time thereafter.
When a driver has a BC of 0.17 or more, it is considered an aggravated DUI in Colorado. Just like every other state in the country, Colorado has its own expressed consent law which is found in Colorado Revised Statute § 42-4-13011.
Under this law, any person driving in the state is deemed to have given their consent to performing certain tests to determine the alcoholic content of their blood or breath. Refusing testing can lead to an automatic suspension of driving privileges and could also result in an ignition interlock requirement being imposed as well as possibly being labeled a persistent drunk driver even if it was a person’s first offense.
Colorado Commercial DUI Penalties
Commercial drivers are subject to many of the same consequences as drivers of passenger vehicles charged with DUI when it comes to state law, but federal penalties also apply in these cases. A first DUI offense is punishable by a minimum of five days up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, a nine-month suspension of a driver’s license, and 48 to 96 hours of community service.
Second and subsequent DUI offenses become punishable by a minimum of 10 days up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,500, a one-year suspension of a driver’s license, and 48 to 120 hours of community service. When a DUI is charged as a felony following three or more prior convictions, then the offense could be punishable by a fine of as much as $500,000 and up to six years in prison as well as three years of parole.
Ignition interlock devices can also be required in all vehicles owned or operated by an alleged offender for two years after a driver’s license is reinstated. The ignition interlock requirement also applies to people who refused alcohol testing.
Colorado Revised Statute § 42-2-126(3) establishes that a person will have their commercial driver’s license revoked for nine months for a first excess BAC 0.08 violation. The driver can apply for a restricted license.
A second violation will result in a one-year revocation. A third or subsequent violation results in a two-year revocation of the license, regardless of when the prior violations occurred.
Under 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 383.51, commercial drivers can be disqualified from driving commercial vehicles for one year when they are convicted of or refuse to be tested for a first DUI offense in a commercial motor vehicle or non-commercial motor vehicle. The disqualification period is three years when a commercial driver was transporting hazardous materials, and a second conviction or refusal triggers a lifetime disqualification.
Even when a driver has their commercial license revoked for life, it may still be possible to get the license reinstated by completing a state-approved drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. Any person convicted of three or more DUIs in a seven-year period will be considered a habitual offender and have their license revoked for five years while being ineligible for the ignition interlock program.
Lifetime disqualifications only apply when the DUI offenses occurred after a person obtained a commercial driver’s license and both offenses occurred after October 1, 2005. The Motor Carrier Safety Information Act (MCSIA) added personal vehicles to major offenses and took effect on October 1, 2005.
Contact a Colorado Commercial DUI Lawyer
When you face charges this daunting, you want someone in your corner that knows the law and can work to find the best result for you. A commercial DUI arrest does not mean that your career is automatically over. You need someone on your team who can explain all of the options available to you and find the right defense for you.
Make sure that you do not wait to contact me, Christian A. Schwaner, for help. I have extensive experience helping people just like you who have faced similar charges, and I’ll be ready to put my skills and experience to work for you. Call (719) 577-9700 or contact me online to schedule a confidential consultation right away.