Commercial Driving License
If you have a commercial driving license and receive a DUI conviction, you may lose your license, which can have serious consequences for your career. Without a commercial driver’s license, many operators are unable to earn a living or face being terminated from their employment as truck drivers, delivery drivers, or other professionals who drive extensively as part of their livelihood. Ohio has a different set of laws that apply to drunk driving when it involves a commercial driver, and these laws are much stricter than standard DUI laws. Cleveland commercial DUI lawyer A. Dale Naticchia has provided reliable legal counsel to commercial drivers who are facing DUI charges in Cleveland, Akron, and elsewhere in Cuyahoga County. Whether it is your first potential conviction or a subsequent conviction that carries much more drastic penalties, we can fight for your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly at each step of the process.Three Ways That a Commercial Driver’s License Can be Suspended
According to Ohio law, if a commercial driver has a blood alcohol content of 0.04 or more, he or she has committed a DUI offense. Ohio law technically refers to the act of drunk driving as operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). It is important to note that receiving a DUI infraction will carry penalties even if you were not operating a commercial vehicle or working at the time that you were stopped for drunk driving. If you are in this position, you may face a drunk driving charge, an administrative license suspension, and a CDL disqualification. Losing in any of these proceedings can result in the loss of your commercial driver’s license, so you should make sure to retain a commercial DUI attorney in Cleveland who can advocate for you.The Drunk Driving Charge
Based on the drunk driving charge, your driver’s license can be suspended for a certain period, depending on the severity of your offense. There are state and federal regulations that impose suspensions starting at one year for your first violation of them, including an OVI offense. If you are transporting hazardous materials during the period when the violation occurred, the suspension increases to three years. If you have a second violation of a major offense, you may face a lifetime suspension.Administrative License Suspension
Additionally, an individual charged with driving under the influence faces an administrative license suspension through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, even while driving a non-commercial motor vehicle. The administrative suspension lasts 90 days. If you refuse to submit to a blood or urine test, the suspension may last one year. Although some license suspensions allow limited driving privileges, they are not available for commercial vehicles during the administrative license suspension.CDL Disqualification
Finally, a driver can be disqualified if his or her BAC exceeds 0.04% or more while driving a commercial vehicle or if he or she refuses to submit to a breathalyzer test. During the disqualification period, the driver will be forbidden from engaging in CDL-related driving activities. If the authorities are able to detect any amount of alcohol in your system at the time of the arrest, you can be disqualified for 24 hours. You can seek a hearing to challenge the disqualification by sending in a request within 30 days of the date that you receive a disqualification notice. If you receive a second disqualification within a certain period, you may lose your commercial driver’s license permanently.Defenses to Commercial DUI Charges
If you are arrested and charged with drunk driving while you hold a commercial driver’s license, you may worry that there is no way to fight the charge. This is usually not true. One of the first things that our Cleveland commercial DUI attorney will do is review the facts of the traffic stop and determine whether the officers followed the appropriate procedures and protocols when stopping you, interacting with you, and obtaining the evidence that will be used against you. One of the most common defenses that commercial drivers may assert in an OVI case is that the police violated constitutional search and seizure rules. For the police to initiate a traffic stop, they must have a reasonable suspicion that you are violating a law or recently violated a law. If the police stop you without a sufficient reasonable suspicion, any evidence obtained in the stop has been unlawfully obtained and should not be used in your case. In other situations, you might be able to challenge the use of the equipment that evaluated your blood alcohol content, along with any field sobriety test procedures that the arresting officers used. If the equipment was not calibrated or maintained appropriately, the test results may be inaccurate. Field sobriety tests also can be challenged, since there may be reasons other than intoxication that caused a poor result.Contact an Aggressive Commercial DUI Lawyer in the Cleveland Area
Commercial drivers rely on their licenses to make a living. Losing this license even for a short period of time can have disastrous consequences. Assisting commercial drivers in cities such as Cleveland, Akron, Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton, we offer a free consultation to help you learn more about how you can fight a DUI or OVI charge. Call us now at 216-520-5297 or contact us online.