Commercial Truck Driver DUI Penalties

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Commercial Truck Driver DUI Penalties

Driving a commercial truck comes with a lot of responsibility. You may be driving a fully loaded 40-ton truck for more than 10 hours a day. You may be traveling from one state to another, logging hundreds of miles in one day. 

This all requires a high sense of alertness. You need to be well-rested and prepared for poor drivers, poor road conditions, and possibly poor weather. This means being 100% sober. 

Alcohol and drugs have no place behind the wheel of a semi-truck or 18-wheeler. Even one drink can cause intoxication, making it harder to operate and control such a large vehicle. Because of this, the penalties are strict for those who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and choose to drink and drive

In fact, the legal limit is even reduced. For drivers aged 21 and older, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08. For commercial truck drivers, it is half that — 0.04. 

What Punishment Could I Face?

Michigan Vehicle Code Section 257.625 defines DUI under state law. One thing that commercial drivers need to be aware of is that if a person is convicted of any kind of DUI offense, their CDL will automatically be suspended for at least one year. There are no exceptions to this. The only way to avoid this is to avoid the DUI conviction altogether. Even if you plead guilty to a reduced charge, your CDL could still be suspended. 

In addition to the license suspension, you will receive six points on your driver’s license. Both these penalties will greatly affect your future employment as a truck driver. 

The Michigan courts impose other criminal penalties as well, including fines, jail time, and community service. For a first offense, a person can face up to 93 days in jail, fines of up to $500, and 45 days of community service. 

The higher your BAC, the more severe your penalties may be. For an enhanced DUI (BAC of .17 or above), the penalties increase and may include:

  • Up to $700 fine
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program

When you are arrested for a DUI offense in Michigan, you will have to deal with both your criminal case and your separate license suspension. The Michigan Secretary of State will handle your license suspension, while the Michigan criminal courts will handle your criminal penalties. What this means is that what happens in court will not impact your driver’s license.

Contact Us Today

Michigan has strict DUI penalties, especially for truck drivers. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, seek legal help right away to protect your legal rights. The experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyers from Lucido & Manzella, P.C. can help defend your case so you can reduce your punishment and possibly keep your license. To schedule a consultation with our office, call (586) 228-3900 or fill out the online form.

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