Drinking alcohol and driving is dangerous and illegal in Maryland no matter what type of vehicle you are operating, but penalties are often much more severe for those with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Let’s take a look at what you can expect if you are found guilty of drinking and driving when carrying a CDL.
CDL DUI: First Offense
The most common outcome of a first-time DUI for a driver holding a commercial license is a CDL suspension for one year. This means the driver will be unable to legally operate a commercial vehicle throughout the entire time of suspension. Most people carrying a CDL drive commercial vehicles on a daily basis for their job, so it’s easy to see how even one DUI can do a huge amount of damage. Commercial drivers may be fired from their job or have difficulty finding a job while the suspension is in place. If the commercial driver was transporting dangerous or hazardous materials at the time of their DUI arrest, penalties can be magnified and they could potentially lose their privilege to drive commercially for up to three years.
CDL DUI: Second Offense
For those commercial drivers facing DUI charges for a second time, the penalties can easily be career-ending if they operate commercial vehicles for a living. CDLs can be revoked for life, meaning the driver will never be able to drive commercially ever again. This can be devastating to a career that requires employees to have valid licenses, and can cause irreparable damage to family members who rely on the second offense DUI offender for financial support.
No Exceptions for Maryland DUI
Drivers holding a commercial license in Maryland will not only face these penalties if they are driving a commercial vehicle, but also if they are found guilty of DUI while driving their personal vehicle as well. This is why it is incredibly important that drivers carrying a commercial license in Maryland use complete caution when driving at all times, even when they are not on the job.
Get Help from Experienced DUI Attorneys
If you have your Commercial Driver’s License in Maryland, the safest option is to ensure you never get behind the wheel of any type of motor vehicle when you have been drinking. If you have been arrested for DUI and are fearing your license suspension or revocation, reach out to expert DUI attorneys. We have the legal knowledge and professional experience to help you understand the legal process surrounding your charges and will fight for the best outcome in your CDL DUI case.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Will I Lose My License?
You might. Depending on the type of license you have and whether or not you are convicted, your license may be suspended or even revoked depending on the circumstances of your charges. However, even being charged with a DUI can result in the suspension of your license, which can affect your life substantially.
Will I Lose My Job?
It depends on your job. At the time of your arrest, the police officer will confiscate your license and provide you with a paper license that you can use until your MVA Hearing. However, for people who hold commercial driver’s licenses, also known as CDLs, this will not replace the license you need to do your job. So, until the charges are cleared, you will not be able to work. Getting on the phone with a lawyer as soon as humanly possible is essential for your continued employment.
Am I Going to Jail?
You might. If you are found guilty of a DUI, particularly if this is your second or third offense, you may face jail time. One possible outcome of DUI court proceedings, a Probation Before Judgment, can be sought. If you are able to secure a PBJ, you will be able to avoid going to jail.