Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is the act of driving or being in control of a vehicle while normal faculties are impaired due to drugs, alcohol or controlled substances. Commercial trucks are strictly regulated due to the fact that they are large vehicles moving heavy loads across the country. Commercial Drivers licence holders truck have to be held a higher standard compared to drivers of staradrd vehicles due to how serious an accident involving a commercial truck can be.
The maximum blood or Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of a commercial truck driver is limited to half the limit set by Florida state law for the average driver. This means that they can be charged with DUI if they are found to have a BAC of 0.04, not the state limit of 0.08. This is because truck accidents usually more serioys and therefore can be more harmful for everyone involved.
At The Law Place, our experienced personal injury attorneys have a long history of dealing with truck accidents and truck driver DUI cases in Sarasota County and the state of Florida as a whole. Our prestigious law firm works as a team so that you can benefit from our combined experience and knowledge of Florida law which we have built over 75 years.
We are available 24 hours a day so that you can speak to us when you need us most. Contact us today on (941) 444-4444 for a no-obligation, free consultation.
The Consequences of a DUI Conviction for Commercial Truck Drivers
A DUI conviction that results in a truck accident, can have serious and life-changing consequences. The penalties you could face after a DUI may include mandatory driving classes, community service, counseling, a probation term, expensive court costs, a fine, the suspension of your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and in some cases, jail time.
In the state of Florida, a DUI conviction will stay on your record for 75 years and will have impacts for your future, limiting your options for education and employment. For truck drivers, in the event of a suspended license, their livelihood would be teken away. If you or a loved one have been accused suspicion of drinking while operating a commercial vehicle, which resulted in a truck accident, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you.
For a free legal consultation with a truck driver dui crashes lawyer serving Sarasota, call 941-444-4444
What to Do at the Scene of a DUI Truck Accident
In an accident that involves a truck, there is a a much bigger chance of serious damage, serious injuries and wrongful death, compared to a crash initiated by a standard size car. This is why penalties for driving under the influence whilst operating a truck are more serious.
There is specific protocol you should follow after any road accident. However, you are under the influence of any drug, or have been drinking, the steps you take will be a little different. DUI cases are taken very seriously in the county of Sarasota; therefore, you need to take extra care and contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can.
- Check for inuries – After a road accident, you should check for any injuries straight away and move into a safe place when possible and safe to do so.
- Call for emergency assistance – If required, call for an ambulance so medica professionals can tend to any injuries that you or others may have sustained.
- Report the crash- State law requires you to report a road accident that caused substantial property damage or injury to the police while you are still at the scene. If not, you have ten days to report it to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV).
- Avoid giving any statements to police officers – If you are in some way resposible for the accident, and it is suspected that you are under the influence, you should contact an accident attorney before you make any statements, written or oral.
- Cooperate with testing- In Sarasota, Fl there are consequences for refusing a breath or chemical test. You could face charges of non-compliance and face criminal penalties.
- Gather information – Ask for the the name, phone number, and vehicle information from anyone else involved in the accident. If possible also ask any witnesses for their information so that they can be contacted at a later date. This is a key element if you do not think you were at fault so support your not-guilty plea.
- Take pictures – If you are able to, take photos of the accident scene. Include the vehicles involved in the incident, their position on the road, and anything else that may be of relevance.
- Don’t leave the accident scene – If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it might be tempting to leave the scene of the accident. However, this mean hit and run charge, which is classed as a felony.
Sarasota Truck Driver DUI Crashes Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Refusing to Take a Blood Or Breath Test
If you have been pulled over and charges with DUI while driving a commercial vehicle such as a truck, you will be asked to take a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine). Under Florida state law, all drivers’ consent to taking tests when they recive their license and begin to drive on the state’s roads.
If you refuse to take a chemical test to establish your BAC, then you will automatically have your license suspended and will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least one year. However, you will be able to request a hearing to fight this suspension. You must request this hearing within 10 days of the arrest and pay a fee. Remember, this is a civil administrative hearing with regards to your automatic license suspension following a DUI and is not related to the criminal DUI case.
If your license is suspended even after the hearing, you can apply for a hardship license for your normal driver’s license. You will not be able obtain a hardship license for your CDL. To obtain this hardship license, you will need to register for a Florida Advanced Driver Improvement Course and give proof that you need a license drive to and from work, for work or other essential purposes.
Consequences of a DUI Arrest for CDL Holders
Any driver who is convicted of a DUI based on either impairment due to alcohol, drugs or for having a BAC higher than .04 percent while operating a truck, will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least one year. If a driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time, they will be disqualified for a minimum of three years. Florida does not permit hardship licenses for commercial drivers. Once the full disqualification period has ended, the driver will have to ask for their CDL to be reinstated.
A commercial driver will also face other legal consequences for a DUI charge . For a first DUI offense with a BAC lower than 0.14, the driver will face:
- A fine that can range between $500 and $1,000.
- 50 hours of mandatory community service.
- Six months of jail time.
- Probation and jail time combined for up to one year.
- Mandatory drug or alcohol education or treatment.
- A permanent criminal conviction on your record.
A DUI cconviction that a driver recives can also be harmful for the trucking companies reputation, because the actions of their drivers represent them as a company. Furthermore crashes will incur costs for vehicle repairs or even vehicle replacement, not to mention legal bills if victims take our claims against the trucking company.
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The Importance of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in a Truck Driver DUI Case
If cause a truck accident because you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your first step should be consult with an experienced Sarasota accident attorney. Your livelihood is at stake, and you need to protect your driving record by fighting your charges.
At The Law Place in Sarasota, FL, we understand how difficult it is to face a Sarasota DUI charge, especially when your CDL is at stake. Our knowledageble accident lawyers have a vast amount of experience working with commercial drivers and will be by your side every step of the way. Contact us today on (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation with a qualified lawyer.