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What Happens to Your CDL When You Get a DUI in Florida?

Florida state police pull over a truck on the highway for suspected DUI

Any little blemish on your record could cost you work or even your career in the trucking industry. For truckers, the more severe the allegations, the more damage they will do to your financial stability and future career opportunities.

That's why if you're a trucker accused of drunk driving or impaired driving in Florida, it's critical to have an experienced Florida CDL DUI attorney in your corner.

For more than 30 years, the CDL DUI defense lawyers at our law firm have fought to protect the livelihoods and rights of truckers accused of DUI and other violations.

Our dedicated legal team represents CMV drivers across northeast Florida and understands what it takes to get the outcome your case deserves. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options if you've been charged in Clay County.

What happens if you're a trucker convicted of DUI?

Conviction on a charge of driving under the influence (also known as a DUI or DWI) can disqualify you from holding onto the certifications necessary to drive commercial semi-trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, tractor trailers, tanker trucks, and more.

If you get a DUI, it doesn't matter if you were driving a semi-truck, passenger vehicle, or motorcycle. Your Commercial Drivers License (CDL) or Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) is at risk.

Here are the impairment-related violations that may disqualify you from holding a Florida CDL:

  • Being under the influence of alcohol.
  • Being under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 percent or greater while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Remember that truckers are held to higher standards for sober driving than the general public. Passenger vehicle drivers have a 0.08 percent BAC limit.
  • Refusing to take an alcohol or impairment test as required under Florida's implied consent laws.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.

It is also worth noting that a trucker can be disqualified for driving while impaired by a legal prescription if it affects their ability to drive safely.

DUI penalties for Florida CDL

If you are convicted of DUI, you could lose your commercial license for up to 10 years or a lifetime, depending on the charges.

However, your first DUI conviction typically results in CDL suspension for 1 to 3 years. After your suspension, you may need to go through the CDL certification process again, pay a reinstatement fee, and complete a DUI safety and substance abuse program.

If you get a second DUI conviction, you will likely be permanently disqualified from obtaining a CDL.

CDL endorsements and other charges

A DUI can cause trouble for any CDL class (A, B, or C) as well as endorsements like:

  • Placarded hazmat
  • Tank vehicles
  • Passengers
  • School bus
  • Double/triple trailers
  • Placarded hazmat and tank vehicles

Sometimes, DUI isn't the only traffic violation a trucker gets charged with after a stop. Other serious traffic violations that may accompany a DUI include speeding, reckless driving, improper lane changes, and following too closely (tailgating).

How to beat a DUI in Florida

Getting experienced legal representation is the best way to protect your rights after being charged. Top CDL DUI attorneys can:

  • Demand a formal review hearing of your license suspension.
  • Challenge the legality of the traffic stop.
  • Expose weak "evidence" and conflicting police narratives.
  • Collect important evidence, available surveillance or dash cam video, and witness statements that support your case.
  • Investigate possible civil rights violations.
  • Challenge the accuracy of field sobriety tests, breathalyzers, and other frequently faulty BAC testing equipment.
  • Negotiate for dismissal or lesser charges that come with reduced penalties.
  • Litigate for your innocence or acquittal.

Sometimes, a DUI conviction is unavoidable. In those circumstances, we are aggressive about getting clients the least punitive outcome possible.

When your career is on the line, experience matters.

If you have been charged in Florida, contact us for a free case evaluation to learn more about the penalties you face and possible defense strategies. Do not delay. A member of our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to hear from you.

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