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“Your Commercial Driver License (CDL) is at risk if you are convicted of any violations – even those involving non-commercial motor vehicles.” This statement from the Motor Vehicle Commission highlights the risks facing commercial drivers who get arrested for drunk driving in the State of New Jersey.
Of course, for commercial drivers, losing your CDL is just one of the many serious and long-term consequences that can follow a DUI/DWI arrest. Fines, surcharges, loss of your non-commercial driving privileges, jail time and other penalties could all be on the table as well.
While most drivers over the age of 21 in New Jersey are subject to a BAC standard of 0.08 percent, for commercial drivers, the standard is half of that: 0.04 percent. If you are pulled over while driving a commercial vehicle and your BAC is 0.04 percent or above, you can be arrested even though you would be under the legal limit if you were driving your own car, motorcycle or SUV. New Jersey Statute 39:3-10.13 states:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a person shall not operate a commercial motor vehicle in this State with an alcohol concentration of 0.04% or more, or while under the influence of a controlled substance.”
As you can see, the 0.04 percent BAC standard under New Jersey law only applies while you are operating a commercial vehicle. If the police pull you over in your personal vehicle, the ordinary 0.08 percent standard still applies.
However, while the BAC standards vary for commercial and non-commercial vehicles, it is important to note that the enhanced DUI penalties for commercial drivers apply regardless of the vehicle they are driving at the time of their arrest. If you hold a CDL and you get arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey (at either the 0.04 percent or the 0.08 percent standard), you will be subject to the following penalties in addition to the standard penalties for a New Jersey DUI:
Of course, as a commercial driver, losing your CDL has implications far beyond those most people face when they lose their driving privileges. Not only your current job, but your entire career could be in jeopardy if you get convicted of DUI. At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., we understand what is at stake for commercial drivers accused of drunk driving, and we provide focused and strategic representation designed to protect our clients’ futures to the greatest extent possible.
For more information about defending yourself against a DUI charge as a commercial driver, schedule a free confidential initial consultation at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. You can call us 24/7 at 1-877-435-6371, or contact us online and we will respond as soon as possible.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.