Cobb County Commercial DUI Defense Lawyer
If you drive for a living under a commercial driver’s license, a drunk driving conviction goes straight to your livelihood like no other offense. You’ll lose your ability to drive for a living while still being made to suffer all the other penalties of a DUI offense. To make matters worse, it is much easier for a commercial driver to be convicted of driving under the influence than someone with a standard driver’s license. The criminal defense attorney at Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C., is here to help you keep your license and avoid a conviction wherever possible. We have years of experience defending people charged with DUI in Georgia. Don’t gamble with your future. Contact our experienced Cobb County commercial DUI defense lawyer today.
Georgia DUI Laws for Commercial Drivers
For most drivers, a “per se” DUI violation occurs if they are found to be driving or in control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more. However, Georgia law is much tougher on commercial drivers. The law states that “A person shall not drive or be in an actual physical control of any moving commercial motor vehicle while there is 0.04 percent or more by weight of alcohol in such person’s blood, breath, or urine.” For most people, that’s the equivalent of two drinks or less in one hour. A DUI conviction for a commercial driver is a misdemeanor offense, subjecting them to up to $1,000 in fines and up to 12 months in jail for a first offense.
Like other drivers, commercial drivers are said to have given their “implied consent” to a test of their blood, breath or urine for alcohol or drugs. Police officers can require commercial drivers to submit to a test if the police have probable cause to believe the commercial driver has any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. Drivers must be warned that refusing to submit to a test amounts to a one-year disqualification from operating both a commercial vehicle and a private vehicle under Georgia law.
A first or second DUI in ten years is a misdemeanor, while a third DUI is a “high and aggravated” misdemeanor. A fourth DUI in ten years is a felony. Below are the ranges of fines for a first, second, third or fourth DUI conviction in Georgia:
- $300 to $1,000
- $600 to $1,000
- $1,000 to $5,000
- $1,000 to $5,000
A DUI conviction also results in a one-year driver’s license suspension, with the possibility of reinstatement after four months upon completion of DUI School. Most drivers can also apply for a limited driving permit allowing them to drive to get to work, go to medical appointments, pick up prescriptions, drive to counseling or treatment, or transport their kids or other members of their immediate family who don’t have a driver’s license to take them to work, school, medical care or pick up prescriptions. However, limited driving permits are expressly not valid for driving a commercial vehicle.
Driving Disqualification – Zero Tolerance for Drinking and Driving by Commercial Drivers
In addition to Georgia’s criminal DUI statute, the state’s Uniform Commercial Driver’s License Act also imposes what looks like a zero-tolerance policy that can result in a driving disqualification. Specifically, this law, found in section 40-5-152 of Georgia law, states:
- Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, a person may not drive, operate, or be in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle while having any measurable alcohol in his or her system.
- A person who drives, operates, or is in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle while having any measurable alcohol in his or her system or who refuses to take a test prescribed by Code Section 40-5-55 to determine his or her alcohol content must be placed out of service for 24 hours.
Contact Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C.
A DUI conviction can be expensive, inconvenient, and life-changing for anybody, but it can be especially damaging to a commercial driver. Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C., is a criminal defense law firm with a strong focus on defending people charged with driving under the influence, including commercial drivers. Don’t take chances when your job is at stake. Call our experienced Cobb County commercial DUI defense lawyer today.
Act now to protect your right to drive! You only have 30 days from the date of arrest to save your valuable driver’s license from being suspended. Call Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. today!