DUI Penalties For Commercial Drivers

Updated on 06/15/2022 / Under

Commercial drivers are required by law to maintain a special license that allows them to drive the type of vehicle that they use for their work. This might be a dump truck, it could be a bus, a limousine, and commonly a commercial driver's license is for those who drive big trucks also called 18 wheelers.

Because professional commercial drivers operate vehicles that potentially can be dangerous, the government is cautious and wants to do what it can to make certain that those drivers perform their driving duties as safely as possible.

DUI penalties for CDL drivers

DUI Penalties For Commercial Drivers Are Intentionally Strict

The government has deliberately enacted laws that are strict on commercial drivers because they are seen as professionals and it is believed that they have a great responsibility to the public at large. This means that the procedures they need to follow in order to secure their commercial license are stringent. The violations are equally strict. Illinois is a state that adheres to those laws very closely. This is especially true when a driver who holds a commercial driver's license is convicted of a DUI.

Related: What disqualifies you from getting a CDL?

DUI penalties for commercial drivers are adhered to strictly in Illinois. These penalties can include long suspensions of their driving privileges which will ultimately prevent them from earning a living. The very fact that the penalties can impact not only the individual but their families and prevent the individual from continuing to work and earn a living means it is something that should be avoided. If someone is facing charges for DUI they will definitely want to have themselves professionally defended in a court of law.

For a regular driver, they cannot have a blood alcohol content over .08%. When someone has a .08% blood alcohol level or higher it is seen by law to be drunk driving. So, what is the legal alcohol limit for CDL drivers in the state of Illinois?, anyone who is a CDL holder is held to a higher standard and therefore a blood alcohol content of .04% is seen as driving under the influence of alcohol. This means that they can have only half the blood alcohol content of someone who is not a commercial driver's license holder.

With the fact that breathalyzers and other methods of testing have a margin of error, it is not a small difference. It means that a fairly small error can result in a CDL holder being accused of drunk driving even if their blood alcohol content was less than the standard under the law. In fact, it's a common practice for breathalyzers to round up the measurements which means that it can produce a false positive. That means that commercial drivers are at extreme risk under those circumstances.

The state of Illinois has an implied consent law. This means that when someone holds a driver's license in the state they are giving consent to submit to a breath or blood test if a police officer suspects them of driving under the influence of alcohol. If someone refuses to take the test then they can be arrested under suspicion of driving intoxicated. The refusal allows for an automatic suspension of the driver's license under the implied consent law.

When someone holds a regular driver's license and it is temporarily suspended until the case is settled in court, it can be an inconvenience. But when the individual is a commercial driver and they earn their living by driving then this has severe consequences for them and their families. This could mean that they are unable to pay their bills including mortgages and electric as well as providing food and other essentials for their family. For this reason, if a CDL holder has a charge of DUI they should definitely seek the assistance of a qualified Chicago DUI attorney to help them get the best results with the case.

You Need to Act Quick

Driving under the influence while operating a commercial vehicle is a serious crime. If you have been charged with DUI as a holder of a commercial driver's license, you need an experienced lawyer. Contact our CDL Lawyer at Ktenas Law to go over your case review for free.