The law generally holds drivers of commercial vehicles to a higher standard than drivers of non-commercial vehicles. The main reason being is that commercial drivers are required to drive bigger vehicles, for long distances in extended periods of time, usually carrying precious or hazardous cargo. Due to these reasons, commercial drivers license (CDL) requirements in Illinois are stricter, hence the harsher consequences for violations, especially for DUI offenses.
DUI Punishments for Commercial Drivers
A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Illinois comes with severe penalties. According to state law, which the state adopted the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial drivers are only given two chances prior to having their CDL revoked due to impaired driving. In general, commercial drivers would be suspended from driving a CMV or commercial motor vehicles for 12 months or more if they:
- Operated a CMV with a 0.04 BAC or blood alcohol content or any trace amount of methamphetamine or marijuana in the bloodstream
- Declined to undergo an alcohol or drug test, regardless if the commercial driver was operating a commercial vehicle or not
- Operated a non-commercial motor vehicle with a BAC above the legally allowed BAC limit or if they were found to have methamphetamine or marijuana in the bloodstream
- Deliberately fled the scene or a traffic or motor accident
- Operated a vehicle used to commit a felony
- Operated a commercial motor vehicle while their driving privileges are revoked, canceled, or suspended
- Committed a negligent or vehicular homicide using a commercial motor vehicle
In addition, if you commit any of the above-mentioned violations while you’re carrying a cargo of hazardous materials that require a placard, you could be disqualified from driving a CMV for up to three years, warns renowned DUI attorneys in Springfield, IL. Furthermore, a second conviction for any DUI-related offense would result in a lifetime disqualification of your commercial driver’s license. This is a total and immediate career killer that would negatively affect your income, particularly if you have a family depending on you.
If you’re facing a DUI charge in Illinois, you also face the possibility of losing your CDL — your career and source of income. Due to this, getting skilled legal representation is crucial. An experienced lawyer could determine a potential defense and all options available to your case.
For some people, their first DUI offense is the end of the world. The idea of going through court is already a dead-end. As a result, some people think they have no other option but just to plead guilty. Why keep fighting for a lost cause anyway?
Still, believing that you have no chance to win is a common misconception that should never be an option.
There are still a number of ways to fight your first DUI/DWI arrest charge. If you’ve been arrested for a first-time offense, it’s time to seek assistance from criminal defense lawyers in Jacksonville, IL
Do You Know Your Options?
For the first-time DUI offender, feeling a little helpless is natural. You failed the blood, breath, urine, and field sobriety test — will the court automatically find you guilty?
Police officers and their DUI machines are not perfect. The circumstances surrounding the results of your tests can be excluded from the evidence against you. Don’t immediately assume you’ll receive a conviction because you drank and drove. Even with a first DUI offense, the court must fully understand the details before they make an arrest.
Know the Facts Before Pleading Guilty
Unfortunately, some people enter a guilty plea before fully understanding their situation, only to learn later that they had a strong defense. Before you plead guilty, it pays to get the facts straight.
The smallest detail for your first DUI offense can make a big difference. Do not make big decisions on your own; always speak with a skilled DUI lawyer first. Attorneys will tell you what to do, and they may offer specific details that can save you from conviction. Never plead guilty until you’ve spoken to someone about your case.
It’s your first offense; it’s normal to feel scared. But acting on impulse might worsen your case. Before you do anything, talk to a lawyer. They will fight for your DUI case. All you have to do is calm down and don’t back down.
In Utah, driving under the influence of alcohol is a Class B misdemeanor. Getting caught and being found guilty could put you behind bars for up to six months, and pay up to $1,000’s worth of fine. If you injured someone when you’re accused of DUI, your offense quickly escalates to Class A; if it’s your third DUI violation within 10 years, your offense turns into a third degree felony. Naturally, your possible penalties become heftier, as the law renders your alleged wrongdoing more serious.
Many people that get arrested because of DUI simply plead guilty just to avoid the harsh punishments they can potentially receive. While that school of thought makes sense, it doesn’t when you can leave the court innocent and move on to your life without living with the consequences of a DUI for a long time.
Sadly, the motivation behind some guilty pleas are misconceptions.
An Arrest Doesn’t Make You Guilty
Even if the police officers believed that you broke the law, that’s only their opinion. Only the court can prove you committed the alleged traffic violation charged against you. Much like in any case, you’re innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt; an arrest isn’t the end of story.
Breathalyzers Sometimes Lie
Any experienced misdemeanor attorney in Provo would tell you that breath-testing devices are not always accurate. There’s a long list of defenses that can show the breath result is invalid. Improper calibration, false blood alcohol content (BAC) reading due to certain medical conditions, and unfollowed protocols are only some of the angles your attorney can look at for your defense.
Drinking before Driving Is Not Always Drunk Driving
Just because you had a drink or two doesn’t mean you’re already unfit to drive. Unless you’re under the age of 21, you can be behind the wheels legally anywhere in the Beehive State with a BAC at .08% and below. As long as you don’t exceed this limit, you can operate a vehicle in the eyes of the Utah law.
DUI may seem straightforward, but it’s actually more complex than you think. Your defense attorney can effectively formulate the most appropriate strategy to prove your innocence in the eyes of the judge or the jury.
Arrested for drunk driving? The penalties for drinking and driving include the loss of driving privileges, fines, and a possible jail term.
Here are five good reasons you should hire a DUI attorney to represent you in a DUI case.
1. DUI laws are very complex
The legal system is complex, DUI attorneys know the legalities involved in DUI charges. They have studied the ins and outs of DUI and understand the ambiguities that might affect your case. DUI laws have gotten tougher across the United States in recent years – the legal limit is now .08 percent blood alcohol content in all 50 states, Noll Law Office explains.
2. Experience in the courtroom
Courtroom matters are best left to DUI lawyers. You shouldn’t represent yourself in a DUI case. DUI attorneys have experience in the courtroom. With so much on the line, it’s imperative that you find a qualified attorney to defend you if you have been charged for drunk driving.
3. Fight Your DUI charges
DUI convictions remain on your permanent criminal record and may interfere with your livelihood. Evidence obtained without probable cause usually results in dismissed or reduced DUI charges. A DUI lawyer will fight your DUI charges and help you avoid serious consequences with a strong defense strategy.
4. Complete and file forms
If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, you will likely face a mountain of paperwork. Your DUI attorney will make sure that you have the right forms and he will complete and file them for you.
5. The science of drunk driving
DUI attorneys understand the science of drunk driving. In some DUI cases, the prosecutor’s case relies on the accuracy of the evidence brought against the defendant. Many DUI defenses hinge on a rising blood alcohol content or faulty breathalyzer tests.
Driving while intoxicated is a crime. Anyone who is charged with a DUI is at risk of substantial punishment.
Don’t leave your freedom to chance. A qualified attorney can help you beat a DUI charge.