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.