Commercial drivers in Arizona have livelihoods that depend upon keeping their Commercial driver’s License (CDL) in good standing. Because large commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailer trucks, delivery vehicles, buses, and commercial vans are large and heavy, they pose a particular danger to others on the roadway when involved in an accident. For that reason, Arizona law places a significantly lower threshold for a DUI charge on CDL holders. It’s important to understand that this standard applies to CDL holders even if they’re pulled over while off the job and driving a private vehicle.
With your livelihood in jeopardy, it’s imperative to have the best legal defense if you’ve been charged with a DUI and your commercial driver’s license is at risk. A commercial driver DUI defense attorney is your best ally for protecting your rights and providing vigorous defense against a DUI conviction.
Understanding the Legal Limits for Blood Alcohol Levels for Commercial Drivers
While the legal limit for blood alcohol level (BAC) in standard license holders is .08%, for commercial drivers in Glendale and the Phoenix area, the state’s legal limit for BAC is .04%. This means the state considers an average-sized adult man as legally impaired with as few as two drinks. Not only are commercial drivers held to a higher standard for blood alcohol levels, but a DUI conviction for CDL-holders in Arizona has the following consequences:
- A conviction for a Class-1 Misdemeanor DUI
- A disqualified commercial driver’s license for one year
- Significant fines and penalties
- Up to a five-year probation
- 8 Points added against your driving record
- Disqualification from commercial vehicle insurance coverage for 3 years
The combined penalties for a commercial driver DUI conviction in Arizona leave the driver unemployable and the damage to their livelihood nearly irreparable. What’s more, there are no second chances for a commercial DUI conviction—a second DUI during the driver’s lifetime typically results in the permanent revocation of their commercial driver’s license. These stiff penalties mean that a DUI conviction is life-altering for commercial drivers.
If you’re facing DUI charges, you need an experienced DUI defense attorney like those at the Steward Law Group in Glendale to advocate aggressively for your rights.
What Happens When a Commercial Driver Refuses a Breathalyzer Test?
Many commercial license holders make the mistake of assuming that they decrease their chances of serious repercussions for a DUI traffic stop by refusing to agree to a Portable Breath Test (PBT), or breathalyzer test. While any driver is within their rights to refuse this test without a warrant, the refusal itself causes a mandatory 1-year suspension of your driver’s license even if you are never convicted of the criminal charges. Plus, refusing a second breathalyzer in the future, results in permanent suspension of a commercial driver’s license.
It’s important to understand that a law enforcement officer can still charge you with a DUI on reasonable suspicion alone, even if you refuse a breathalyzer test.
How Can a Glendale Commercial Driver DUI Defense Attorney Help?
An experienced Arizona DUI defense attorney like the legal team at Stewart Law Group understands the greater margin of error in breathalyzer tests for commercial drivers held to the lower threshold of .04% BAC. A commercial driver DUI defense lawyer can vigorously defend you against these charges on several standards including the following bases:
- The basis of the officer’s “reasonable suspicion” for pulling you over during the original traffic stop
- The “probable cause” the officer cited for your arrest
- Any violation of your legally protected rights, including Miranda warnings and your right to request an attorney
- Errors or improprieties in collection procedures or analysis for blood alcohol levels
Your Glendale Commercial Driver DUI Defense Attorney from Stewart Law Group can fight for a dismissal of your charges, a jury verdict in your favor, or negotiate on your behalf for a reduced charge. Every attorney at Stewart Law Group is a former prosecutor who understands strategies for a commercial driver DUI conviction in the Glendale/Phoenix area and how to best counteract them in an aggressive legal defense.
Call our Glendale office today so we can put our decades of legal experience to work on your behalf.