Commercial Truck Driver Holding Steering WheelIf you are convicted of DUI and are a commercial driver in Virginia, you face more harsh long-term consequences than other drivers. Your conviction could disqualify you from having a commercial license for an extended period, which can jeopardize your job. However, an experienced DUI attorney can help you fight the charges and minimize the punishments and other ramifications you face.

DUI Charges and Punishments for Commercial Drivers

In Virginia, commercial drivers are held to higher standards than other motorists. They can be charged with DUI in these situations:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 percent or higher
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance, no matter what their BAC is

If a commercial driver is charged with DUI for driving with a BAC of 0.04 or higher, they would be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. However, if their BAC were 0.08 percent or higher, they would be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor like other drivers. They could face these punishments for a first offense:

  • Class 3 misdemeanor. Fine of up to $500
  • Class 1 misdemeanor. Up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500

How a DUI Conviction Affects a Commercial License in Virginia

If a commercial driver is convicted of DUI, their commercial driver’s license (CDL) would most likely be suspended administratively by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). They could also face a suspension of their license if they refuse a blood or breath test under Virginia’s Implied Consent Law. They would be disqualified from a CDL for these time periods:

  • One-year CDL disqualification for a first-offense DUI
  • One-year CDL disqualification for the first refusal of a blood or breath test
  • Three-year CDL disqualification for a first-offense DUI or first refusal of a blood or breath test if the driver was transporting hazardous materials
  • Lifetime disqualification for a subsequent DUI or refusal of a blood or breath test

While other drivers convicted of DUI may be eligible for a restricted driver’s license, there is no restricted CDL.

Were you charged with DUI as a commercial driver? At The Wilson Law Firm, we understand what is at stake for you and will mount an aggressive defense strategy so that you achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. We invite you to order our free book, The Virginia DUI/DWI Survival Guide. Then call our Manassas office at 888-DUI-LWYR or fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.