If you have a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, and are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Omaha,you have more to lose than the average motorist. Not only do you face common penalties such as jail time and fines but your livelihood could be in jeopardy as well if a CDL is required for your job. An experienced Omaha DUI attorney can offer you specific advice and guidance. Understanding how the law treats those with a CDL who are convicted of a DUI in Nebraska is a good place to start.
Those who hold a commercial driver’s license are held to a higher standard than the average motorist. Understandably, the law expects people who are operating an 80,000-pound vehicle or transporting hazardous materials to be even more vigilant behind the wheel than people operating a passenger vehicle. A CDL holder can be convicted of DUI with a lower BAC than his/her non-CDL counterpoint. Furthermore, your CDL license can be in jeopardy for a DUI charge that stems from operating a noncommercial vehicle.
For the average motorist, a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of 0.08 or above qualifies as driving under the influence. If you hold a CDL and are operating a commercial motor vehicle, or CMV, you can be charged with DUI with a BAC as low as 0.04. Moreover, your driving privileges will automatically be administratively suspended if you registered a 0.04 on a breathalyzer or you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer. You do have the right to contest the suspension by requesting a hearing but you must do so within 10 days of the arrest.
Commercial Driver DUI Penalties in Omaha
If you are convicted for a first-time DUI, you will be disqualified for a CDL for one year. If you were operating a CMV that was transporting hazardous materials requiring placards you will be disqualified for three years. A second offense will disqualify you for life. In addition, while the average driver may be eligible for an “Ignition Interlock Permit”, or IIP, during at least a portion of the suspension period, a motorist who holds a CDL is not eligible for a restricted license to operate a CMV.