Commercial Driver DUI
Commercial DUI Defense Lawyer Las Vegas
More than any other profession, commercial vehicle drivers depend on their license to earn income and take care of their families. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a commercial DUI conviction can lead to jail time, fines, a license suspension, and many other consequences.
Commercial Driver DUI laws are more strict than the standard Nevada DUI laws. There is a much lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) allowance, and the penalties can be more severe.
If you’ve been charged with a commercial DUI in Las Vegas or surrounding areas such as Henderson, North Las Vegas, Mesquite, Laughlin, Boulder City, Goodsprings or Pahrump we can help. Contact The Vegas Lawyers or give us a call at (702) 707-7000 for your free initial consultation today,
What Are The Commercial Driver DUI Laws in Nevada?
There is federal and state legislation that address commercial DUI laws and penalties. The Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Section 484C.120 provides clear guidelines, standards, and punishments for commercial drivers convicted of DUI.
While legal BAC levels in typical drivers (above the age of 21) must remain under .08 percent, commercial drivers must maintain a BAC lower than .04 percent when operating their work vehicle.
Furthermore, drivers can be found guilty of a commercial DUI if they’re under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.
How Federal And Nevada DUI Laws Define a Commercial Vehicle
Commercial DUI laws apply to individuals who have the following characteristics at the time of arrest:
- Your commercial vehicle accommodates at least 16 people
- Large trucks and vehicle weighing at least or more than 26,001 lbs (gross vehicle weight)
- Semi-truck with a trailer having a gross vehicle weight more than 10,000 lbs
- Commercial vehicles used to carry hazardous materials
The police may order you to abstain from driving for at least 24-hours if they believe you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating a commercial truck, bus, large passenger van, or are otherwise transiting hazardous materials in a commercial vehicle.
That’s in addition to commercial DUI criminal penalties and license suspension.
Penalties for a Commercial DUI
For the most part, penalties for a commercial DUI conviction are the same as non-commercial DUI penalties. However, commercial drivers stand to lose their commercial driver’s license (CDL) if convicted.
How Does A DUI Affect A CDL License?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Nevada Commercial DUI Laws, a first commercial DUI offense will lead to a mandatory 1-year CDL suspension. However, if you were transporting hazardous materials at the time of your arrest, your suspension will span 36-months.
Regarding your CDL, state and federal laws only give drivers one chance to make a mistake. A second DUI conviction will most likely result in an indefinite lifetime commercial license revocation.
It’s important to note that CDL drivers with a BAC above .04 percent, but below .08 while operating a commercial vehicle, will still have their commercial and non-commercial licenses suspended.
A CDL holder can legally operate a non-commercial vehicle with a BAC under .08 percent, so long as they can safely operate the vehicle and show no signs of impairment.
Misdemeanor Commercial DUI
The consequences of a commercial DUI conviction depends on the circumstances of your case, prior DUI convictions, and other factors. People convicted of commercial DUI can expect the following:
- First Commercial DUI: 2 days – 6 months jail time, or potential community service in lieu of jail, fines between $400 – $1000, mandatory attendance of Victim Impact Panel & Nevada DUI school, substance abuse evaluation, 1-year CDL suspension, and 185-day non-commercial license suspension.
- Second Commercial DUI: 10 days – 6 months jail time, $750 – $1,000 in fines, lifetime CDL license revocation, 1-year non-commercial license suspension, in addition to other penalties listed above.
It’s important to note that penalties for commercial DUI convictions can be significantly increased (even doubled) if you are convicted of DUI in a work zone.
Felony Commercial DUI
If you’ve been convicted of two DUIs, your CDL will already be revoked. However, a third non-commercial DUI within seven years of the two prior convictions can be charged as a Category B Felony. Penalties can include:
- 1-6 years in Nevada State Prison
- Fines of $2,000 – $5,000
- Mandatory installation of ignition interlock device after license suspension concludes
- Non-commercial license revocation of up to 3-years
Also, if you’re arrested for a commercial DUI causing serious bodily injury or death, you may be charged with a Category B felony. Penalties for DUIs causing injury or fatality include prison sentence (up to 20 years), 3-year license suspension, up to $5,000 in fines, and more.
How to Fight a Nevada Commercial DUI Charge
If you’re charged with driving under the influence while operating a commercial vehicle, it’s in your best interest to take quick action. Otherwise, your source of income, freedom, and financial health are all at risk.
Working with a proven Nevada commercial DUI lawyer can help to make your options clear. Your lawyer can potentially help to have charges decreased, dismissed, or reduce the penalties.
The best defense strategy depends on the specifics of your case. In general, your DUI lawyer may consider the following strategies:
- Pursue a Dismissal of Charges
- Negotiate a Plea Deal With Prosecutors
- Fight the Charges in Court
An experienced commercial DUI attorney will work to gain leverage in negotiations by thoroughly investigating your case, interviewing eyewitnesses, reviewing the police report, and examining the evidence.
This helps to ensure your rights are protected, you’re protected against equipment malfunctions, as well as procedural errors.
Don’t Gamble With Your Career – Contact The Vegas Lawyers Today
You worked hard to obtain a CDL license. It’s likely been an asset to you and your family. A commercial DUI conviction can threaten your ability to earn income, your freedom, and continue in your career.
If you’ve been charged with a commercial DUI offense in Las Vegas or the southern Nevada area, we can help. We’ve earned a reputation as one of the best DUI law firms in Nevada for a reason; we care about our clients.
Don’t risk your career by fighting a DUI charge on your own. Contact The Vegas Lawyers today through this website or give us a call at (707) 707-7000 for your free initial consultation.