Arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida can create all kinds of complications for the alleged offenders. One group of people who can very much have their abilities to earn a living and provide for their family dramatically altered is drivers of commercial vehicles.
People with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) can be charged with DUI when they have blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) that are lower than the limits imposed for traditional passenger vehicle operators. In addition to possible CDL suspensions, alleged offenders accused of commercial vehicle DUI offenses can also face possible incarceration and fines.Attorney for Commercial DUI Arrests in Broward County, FL
If you are a commercial driver who was recently arrested anywhere in South Florida for an alleged DUI offense, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends clients accused of drunk driving offenses in Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Davie, and several nearby communities in Broward County.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who knows which kinds of issues can make it difficult for a prosecutor to obtain a conviction because he is a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. Call (954) 524-4474 today to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Commercial DUI Crimes in Fort Lauderdale
- What is considered a commercial vehicle in Florida?
- How long can commercial drivers lose their CDLs?
- Where can I find more information about commercial DUI in Broward County?
Florida Commercial DUI Charges
Florida Statute § 316.003(12) defines a commercial motor vehicle as any self-propelled or towed vehicle used on the public highways in commerce to transport passengers or cargo, if such vehicle:
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more;
- Is designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver; or
- Is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, as amended (49 U.S. Code ss. 1801 et seq.).
Florida Statute § 322.62(1) establishes that a person who has any alcohol in his or her body cannot drive or be in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle in Florida. Any violation of this section is a moving violation and commercial drivers can be placed out-of-service for 24 hours.
Unlike the BAC limit of 0.08 established for traditional operators of passenger vehicles under Florida Statute § 316.193, a commercial driver can be charged with DUI in Florida if he or she has a BAC of 0.04—only half of what constitutes per se intoxication in most DUI cases.
Commercial DUI Penalties in Broward County
An individual convicted of a commercial DUI offense faces many of the same punishments as people convicted of driving passenger vehicles while intoxicated. Sentences can include up to six months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000.
An often damaging aspect of any commercial DUI case is the potential impact that a conviction can have on an alleged offender’s CDL. An individual who is convicted of driving with an unlawful alcohol level (0.04) will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for at least one year, will not be eligible for a hardship license, and must pay a disqualification reinstatement fee to reinstate the CDL. If an alleged offender was transporting hazardous materials, the disqualification is for a minimum of three years.
Refusal to submit to breath or blood tests can result in automatic DUI charges for commercial drivers. If an alleged offender is convicted twice of DUI (commercial motor vehicle or noncommercial motor vehicle), he or she is permanently disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
Florida Commercial DUI Resources
Frequently Asked Questions | Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles — On this section of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website you can find answers to frequently asked questions about commercial motor vehicle driving privileges following convictions for DUI or other traffic offenses. Elsewhere on the website, you can also read about suspensions and revocations or take a suspension prevention quiz. You can also learn more about Commercial Motor Vehicle Skill Test Sites.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) — The FMCSA is the United States Department of Transportation agency that regulates the trucking industry. Visit this website to find statistics, research, and information about regulations, including civil penalties, hours of service, and drug and alcohol testing. The website also has answers to frequently asked questions about carrier and vehicle safety, laws and regulations, and state issues.
Are you a commercial driver who was recently arrested anywhere in Broward County for allegedly drunk driving? It will be extremely important for you to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Contact The Hoffman Firm today.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman represents individuals in communities all over South Florida, including Deerfield Beach, Hallandale Beach, Margate, Plantation, Dania Beach, and many others. Call (954) 524-4474 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.