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Protecting your trucking career after a DUI

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | DUI

A driving under the influence (DUI) conviction can be a career-changing event for commercial truck drivers. The consequences extend far beyond the immediate legal penalties. It can risk your ability to maintain your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and employment. However, with the right approach, you can mitigate its long-term impact on your driving career.

Understanding the implications of a DUI charge

In California, drivers cannot operate a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04% or higher. A DUI conviction can result in both criminal penalties and a suspension of the driver’s CDL. Penalties can increase for subsequent offenses. Additionally, many trucking companies have strict policies that may lead to termination or refusal to hire drivers with DUI convictions on their record.

What you can do

Facing a DUI charge could be challenging. Even so, there are proactive steps you can take to improve your chances of preserving your commercial driving career.

  • Seek legal guidance: A DUI case involving CDL holders can be complex. A capable legal professional can explore potential defenses, such as challenging the accuracy of the breathalyzer or the legality of the traffic stop. They can also negotiate reduced charges or minimize the consequences on your CDL.
  • Enroll in rehabilitation programs: Demonstrating a commitment to address any underlying issues can positively influence the outcome of your case. Attending substance abuse programs shows your commitment to responsible driving.
  • Maintain employment: If possible, explore options to retain your job during the legal process, such as seeking a temporary nondriving position within the company. This can demonstrate your value as an employee and increase your chances of reinstatement once you get your CDL back.

By taking a responsible and proactive approach, you can demonstrate your commitment to responsible driving and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

While the road ahead may seem daunting, the guidance of an experienced attorney can make a significant difference. They can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case, advise you on the best course of action and advocate for the preservation of your commercial driving career.

Remember, a DUI conviction does not have to be the end of your trucking career. By taking proactive steps and seeking legal representation, you can increase your chances of mitigating the long-term impacts and getting back behind the wheel.