Commercial DUI in Florida

By Jonathan Blecher on March 16, 2016

Do you drive a commercial vehicle for a living? If so, your livelihood (and perhaps your family’s) depends on your commercial driver’s license and the last thing you need is a conviction for driving under the influence. What would happen to your job if you were convicted of a commercial DUI?

Under Sec. 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, it’s unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level (BAL) of .08% if you’re 21 or older. However, that threshold is set even lower for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and drivers who are under the age of 21.

I’m going to discuss the consequences of a commercial DUI in Florida. I know that our economy relies heavily on truck and delivery drivers, and I care about what happens to them and their families when they are facing CDL charges. That said, I hope this information helps you.

Under Florida law, a commercial vehicle driver cannot:

  • Operate a commercial vehicle with a BAL of .04% or above.
  • Drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • Refuse to submit to a chemical test while driving a commercial vehicle.
  • Drive a commercial vehicle while possessing a controlled substance.

Under Sec. 322.61 of the Florida Statutes, if a commercial driver’s license holder commits any of the above offenses, he or she will be disqualified from operating any commercial motor vehicles for 1 year, and that’s in addition to any other penalties that will be imposed under Sec. 316.193 for DUI.

If a commercial driver is convicted a second time for DUI in a separate incident, he or she will be permanently disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle.

What happens to my CDL if I’m convicted of DUI?

If you are convicted of DUI, what will happen to your commercial driver’s license (CDL)?

You will be prohibited from driving commercial vehicles and you will not be allowed to get a hardship license. You are required to wait until after the disqualification period expires, then you will have to pay a disqualification reinstatement fee, which allows you to reinstate your CDL.

Note: if you were transporting hazardous materials at the time of your DUI arrest, your disqualification will last for 3 years or longer.

Arrested for a commercial DUI in Miami? Contact me me at Jonathan Blecher, P.A. for help. I am a former prosecutor with over 30 years of experience. Let me help you fight for your rights and your job!

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