Commercial vehicles are a common sight on the South Carolina roads. Trucks go to, from and through the state delivering and carting items that are vital to everyday life. This can include food, materials, retail items and more. For commercial drivers, it is imperative that they maintain their status as holders of a commercial driver’s license. If a truck is stopped by law enforcement and its driver is alleged to be under the influence, then this could result in a conviction with the accompanying penalties like fines and even jail time. In addition, it could put the driver’s livelihood in jeopardy with a commercial driver’s license suspension. To know the basics of formulating a defense against these allegations, it is imperative to be aware of the law from the outset.
When might a commercial license be suspended for DUI?
A conviction for a first-offense DUI for alcohol, an impairing drug or a controlled substance will result in a one year suspension of the commercial driver’s license. For commercial drivers, the blood alcohol concentration level for an arrest and conviction is lower than it is for a conventional driver’s license. It is 0.08% for a regular license, but 0.04% for a commercial license. Drivers can also have their commercial license suspended if they refuse to take a test when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer. If there are two or more convictions, the commercial driver’s license will be suspended for life. Even if there is a reduction, it cannot be lower than a 10-year suspension.
What can be done if there is a DUI allegation for a commercial driver?
A DUI conviction can wreak havoc on a person’s personal and professional life – particularly those who drive for a living. Losing that commercial driver’s license might not only mean the person cannot work. They could be in danger of being dismissed from their job and have problems getting a new job because of that one incident. The circumstances of the arrest must be scrutinized. That includes the justification for the investigation, how the evidence as to the DUI was accrued and if the driver has a reasonable explanation as to why they might have appeared to have been under the influence.
This goes beyond an everyday DUI in which a person is arrested for being slightly over the legal limit. It is a potential disruption in every aspect of the commercial driver’s life and must be aggressively defended against. Those confronted with DUI charges in South Carolina should have assistance from prominent professionals who understand every aspect of the local legal system and its nuance. Discussing the case with experienced people is vital from the start to try and forge a reasonable result and avoid long-term penalties.