Tampa Commercial DUI Attorneys
Commercial Drivers & DUI Charges
Any case involving
driving under the influence is potentially life-altering; this, however, is never truer than when
dealing with a commercial driver who drives for a living. Due to the large
size of their vehicle, as well as the commercial nature of their jobs,
commercial drivers are placed under even stricter rules than non-commercial drivers.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), while
alcohol is a legal substance, they do have rules regarding the use of
"prohibited alcohol-related conduct."
It is prohibited to operate a commercial vehicle while drinking alcohol,
while having a
blood alcohol level over 0.04% or within 4 hours of drinking. Due to their severe stance on
alcohol usage, commercial drivers are also subjected to routine and random
According to the FMCSA, the following are required alcohol tests:
Following a truck accident where the driver's behavior is considered
a contributing factor, the driver will be subjected to alcohol testing.
This is determined by whether or not the driver was cited for a moving
traffic violation. In cases where the accident resulted in a fatality,
however, they will
always be tested.
Reasonable Suspicion -
In some cases, an accident may not occur but a supervisor or a company
official may observe certain behaviors or symptoms that lead them to believe
the driver was operating under the influence. The reasonable suspicion
is enough to warrant a test.
Beyond the post-accident and reasonable suspicion tests, all drivers are
subjected to random testing. This can be done around functions that have
safety-sensitive facets. They are unannounced and designed to keep drivers
on their toes and safe at all times.
Should a driver be required to leave work following an alcohol-related
incident, they will be subjected to alcohol tests once they return to
safety-sensitive duties. They will also experience 6 unannounced follow-up
tests within the first 12 months of return.
All of the above tests will be split up into two separate parts. The first
is known as "screening." If it returns with less than 0.02 percent
alcohol, it is considered negative. If, however, is higher than that,
it is considered positive and moves on to the section portion. This is
the confirmation test and is much more thorough than the first. The blood
alcohol technician must use evidential breath testing (EBT) that prints
out not only the results, but also the date and time, the test number,
as well as the name and serial number of the EBT.
Consequences of DUI for Tampa Commercial Drivers
Beyond being removed from safety-sensitive functions, commercial drivers
will also face serious criminal penalties as well. This can include driver
license suspension, fines and jail time. While these are never ideal, when you drive for
a living, they can affect your very livelihood. To ensure that your legal
rights are protected, do not hesitate to consult with a
Tampa criminal defense lawyer from Thomas & Paulk, P.A. as soon as you possibly can. With over two
decades of combined legal experience, we have been able to help countless
clients protect their rights; no matter whether we are fighting for reduced
penalties or dismissed charges entirely, you can trust in the legal prowess
of our team. We understand how much is at stake and will do everything
possible to ensure that your future is protected.
Call us today to learn more. You can schedule your consultation by calling 813-321-7323.