Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
January 26. 2023.
Commercial DUI in Missouri
Driving under the influence of substances like drugs or alcohol is a serious crime with severe penalties in most states, including Missouri.
But what if you are driving commercial vehicles? The penalties may be even harsher if you operate a commercial vehicle and get caught drunk driving. You need to be aware of the potential penalties for violating DUI laws in a commercial vehicle.
What Is a Commercial DUI?
If a law enforcement officer stops a commercial driver with a commercial driver’s license and finds them under the influence of alcohol, the driver will be charged with a commercial DUI.
Conviction on DUI charges is a serious offense that can carry severe penalties. The laws for commercial DUI vary from state to state, but in Missouri, the legal limit for alcohol is 0.08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) percent for regular vehicles. Commercial vehicle drivers will be charged with DUI if their BAC is 0.04 percent or higher.
The BAC limit is lower than the legal limit for non-commercial drivers because a truck driver operates much larger vehicles with a heavier gross vehicle weight rating than a personal vehicle.
Can a Commercial Driver Be Charged with DUI for Having Drugs in Their System?
Yes, a commercial driver can be charged with a DUI for having drugs in their system. The offense is generally termed as driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).
In Missouri, if a commercial driver is found to have any amount of a controlled substance in their system, they can be charged with a commercial DUI and suspension of their driver’s license. Controlled substances include both illegal drugs and prescription medications, so a truck driver with a commercial license faces harsher penalties in a commercial DUI case.
What Happens When a Commercial Driver Refuses the Chemical DUI Test?
If a commercial driver refuses the chemical test for a DUI, they can be charged with “ chemical test refusal.” The DUI refusal is a separate charge from the DUI and carries different criminal penalties. In Missouri, a first-time refusal can result in a driver’s license suspension for up to one year.
A DUI conviction remains on your criminal record for a minimum of five years. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, it may remain on your record for up to 10 years.
How Can I Fight CDL Charges in Missouri?
If you are facing CDL charges in Missouri, you may be able to fight the charges in court. Contact an experienced DUI attorney that can advise you on the most suitable strategy for your situation. Your attorney will review the evidence against you and help you to build a strong defense.
Driving a commercial vehicle when under the influence of drugs or alcohol substances is a serious offense with severe penalties. Understanding the laws regarding commercial DUI and the potential penalties is essential.
So, If you are facing charges, it is vital to contact an experienced Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center attorney who can help you build a strong defense and protect your rights.