CDL DUI Attorneys in Colorado Springs Helping Clients Protect Their Livelihoods
CDL drivers spend a large portion of their lives on the highways and interstates across the United States. They are an integral part of the nation’s supply chain for food and goods and often work long hours and days away from their families. Keeping their CDL license in good standing is crucial to being able to stay employed and support their families, and a DUI charge has the potential to impact everything they’ve worked for.
A DUI charge is always a serious matter, but the stakes are even higher when your CDL license — and ability to earn an income — is on the line. At Liberty Law Center, we help clients fight back against DUI charges so that they can protect their jobs and avoid criminal penalties. Call our office to speak to an attorney specializing in DUI Defense.
What Is the Legal Limit for CDL Drivers?
Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the standard for how law enforcement officers determine if you are driving while under the influence of alcohol. For most drivers, the legal limit for BAC is 0.08%. But because of the increased size of the vehicle and potential for injury if a wreck were to occur, CDL drivers are held to a tighter standard. In Colorado, a CDL driver can be charged with a DUI if their BAC is 0.04% or higher.
It’s also important to note that you can be charged with a DUI for reasons other than alcohol. If you are using illicit substances or taking prescription medications that alter your ability to safely drive, this could be considered a DUI. In some cases, you can also be charged with a DUI even if your BAC is under the 0.04% limit if the officer determines that your driving is impaired.
What Are the Consequences for a DUI?
Being convicted of a DUI can result in fines of up to $1,000, a jail sentence of up to 1 year, required community service, and having your driver’s license suspended. These are all the potential penalties for a first-offense DUI conviction in Colorado for a traditional driver’s license holder. CDL drivers can face all of these penalties, but they also have additional consequences to consider.
CDL drivers face a 1-year suspension of their CDL license if they are convicted of a DUI, even for a first offense. The potential penalties for a subsequent DUI conviction are even more severe, up to and including permanently losing your CDL license. Even if you are able to get your license reinstated after the 1-year period, it could still be incredibly difficult to find a company willing to hire you.
Most insurance companies charge those with DUI convictions substantially more for their premiums as well because they are considered a higher risk to insure.
Do I Have to Tell My Employer?
In general, most recreational drivers are not required to inform their employers that they were arrested for a DUI. However, if the position requires a background check or has other criminal record requirements, the person may have to notify their employer. But the rules can be different for CDL drivers because having a license in good standing and safety operating a truck are requirements for the job.
Many commercial trucking companies have policies that require you to tell them if you are arrested or convicted of a DUI. This means that even if you are not convicted, it could still have an impact on your ability to work. If you are driving a company’s truck and not acting as an owner-operator, it’s likely that the company will find out anyway from the police.
If you’re not sure whether you are required to tell your employer that you were arrested and charged with a CDL DUI, talk to an attorney. They can help you understand what your responsibilities are and how to handle the conversation to protect your interests and ability to work.
What Are the Defense Options For My CDL DUI?
Every situation is unique, and the best defense strategy for your case should be determined by a qualified attorney. However, there are some general strategies that are used to help CDL drivers fight DUI charges:
The traffic stop wasn’t legal: A police officer has to have reasonable suspicion (sometimes also called probable cause) to pull you over for a traffic stop. And this doesn’t have to be related to driving under the influence. For example, if you have a brake light out or your license plate has fallen off, these are legitimate reasons to be pulled over. Driving erratically or going out of the lane can also trigger a stop.
The field sobriety test wasn’t correctly administered: Field sobriety tests are known to be inaccurate and must be administered in a very specific way to be legal. If the officer wasn’t trained in field sobriety tests or didn’t perform it correctly, it could be thrown out in court.
The Breathalyzer or blood test results weren’t accurate: Breathalyzer machines must be calibrated to work properly, and it’s possible for blood test samples to be contaminated or otherwise mishandled.
When you speak with your attorney, it’s important to be completely honest about everything that happened. They are there to help you, not judge, and even the smallest detail about your stop or arrest can make a difference in your case.
Contact A CDL DUI Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO Today
Any time you’re charged with a crime, it’s important to work with an experienced defense attorney who can help defend your rights and protect your future. Driving under the influence charges are very serious and require immediate representation to help you protect your job and ability to earn an income. If you’re a CDL driver who has been charged with a DUI in Colorado Springs, call Liberty Law Center at 719-578-1183.