Penalties for CDL DUIs
Drivers in Maryland who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are found guilty of driving while under the influence face serious punishment, often so severe that they have trouble earning an income. The negative impacts that a DUI conviction has on commercial driver vary vastly from the consequences that regular driver’s license holders face when accused of driving under the influence. The consequences can also extend beyond merely the negative effects on someone’s actual license. commercial drivers may risk losing their jobs if they are found guilty of driving under the influence and are unable to drive.
First-time offenders in Maryland who hold commercial driver’s licenses and are found guilty of impaired driving face a CDL suspension of one year. This suspension means the commercial truck driver is not allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle for the entire length of the suspension, and there are no exceptions. If the driver was hauling hazardous materials at the time of the arrest, the penalties become more severe as the disqualification lasts even longer, an astounding three years. This means that even on a first offense, the magnitude of the penalties for a DUI conviction can be extreme.
Though first-time offenders already face severe punishment, second offenses will result in a commercial driver having his or her commercial driving privileges revoked for life. That is a devastating blow to a person’s ability to provide for their family, especially if the commercial driver is the primary bread-winner in their family. In some very rare cases judges have agreed to reinstate driving privileges after 10 years, but that is extremely rare and drivers should not count on a reinstatement. In these cases, the driver will still have to find another way to earn an income for a decade before even attempting to get a reinstatement.
Other Important Information
It is worth mentioning that anyone who holds a commercial driver’s license in Maryland and receives a DUI conviction will face a one-year CDL suspension, even if the arrest did not take place in their commercial motor vehicle. That means that if they are caught driving drunk in their own personal vehicle, they can still have their CDL stripped away. For this reason, it is extremely important that commercial drivers use caution anytime they drive, not just when they are driving on the job. Having a DUI conviction on a commercial driver’s record can make it impossible for them to find other employment that requires driving, and can also limit employment opportunities in other fields. Many employers will not consider hiring anyone who has been convicted of drunk driving.
Contact a Maryland DUI Lawyer
If you are a commercial driver and you have been charged with a drunk driving-related offense, whether you are a first-time offender or this is a second or subsequent offense, the negative impacts that a conviction would have on your personal and professional life are wide-reaching and severe. A skilled Maryland DUI lawyer can help you avoid those negative consequences and give you the best chance for success to fight the charges you are facing. Contact Seth Okin’s law office today at (410) 782-0742 for a free consultation and to explore possible defense strategies for your case.