Commercial Drivers DUI

Drunk Driving & DWI conviction

Commercial-Drivers-DUI: Various and Strict FMCSA Regulations and Rules That Affect CDL Drivers

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, any person who has a commercial driver’s license (CDL) will be held to a higher standard when it comes to being under the influence than a driver who holds a regular driver’s license. 

That’s because regardless of what he/she is carrying, the stakes of being under the influence while driving are much higher than if a driver was in a regular vehicle. Commercial drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are seen as a greater risk to public safety and pose a real liability for his/her employer. For that reason, any person looking for a CDL truck driving job will have to undergo a DUI background check from the potential employer.


Below are some examples of both drivers and employers that are subjected to the regulations set forth by the FMSCA regarding commercial-drivers-dui:

1 – A person who owns or leases commercial vehicles.
2 – A person who assigns drivers to use commercial vehicles.
3 – Private motor carriers
4 – For-hire motor carriers
5 – Civic Organizations
6 – Churches
7 – Local, state and federal governments

FMCSA Places Limits On The Blood Alcohol Content

Most states have adopted the FMCSA’s regulations about commercial-drivers-dui, setting a limit of just .04 percent BAC limit. For non-commercial drivers, the limit is set to .08 BAC. According to the rules, commercial drivers are not permitted to be behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle if they drank four hours before doing so.

Commercial-Drivers-DUI: When Is Random Testing Done

If an accident occurs, commercial drivers could be asked to undergo a random alcohol and drug testing especially if there’s suspicion that the driver was under the influence or the only way a person can return to work after the violation.

Besides the alcohol testing after a commercial-drivers-DUI, the FMCSA has regulations that allows for the random testing of drugs in certain cases such as a requirement of employment after an accident or it’s a condition that must be met before going back to work. The commonly screened drugs include:

- Cocaine
- Amphetamines
- Marijuana
- Phencyclidine
- Opiates

If an officer pulls over commercial drivers for DUI, the penalties are very stiff for those who decline to do the blood alcohol test. Drivers who refuse to submit to the test are essentially pleading guilty.

Commercial-Drivers-DUI: What Ill Effects Can Occur

Commercial-drivers-DUI have a number of ill effects.

1 – They have lower BAC level (.04)
2 – Commercial drivers who are under the influence will be disciplined just like non-commercial drunk drivers.
3 – Commercial-drivers-DUI will lose their driver’s license for a significant longer time period than people with a traditional DUI; possibly never getting a CDL again.

Commercial-drivers-DUI will also need to inform their employers of the offense within 30 days, regardless of the vehicle being driven at that time. For example, a truck driver can be charged with  a DUI in his/her own vehicle but must still let his/her employer know about it.

If a commercial-drivers-DUI ends up getting the license suspended or revoked, the employer can fire the employee. And, any commercial driver with a DUI on their driving record will find it next to impossible to find a driving job.

Find out how to reduce chances for a DUI arrest for drunk drivers

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