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Louisiana Commercial Driver’s License DUI Attorney
CDL DUI in Shreveport, Bossier City, Monroe, & Ruston, LA
An arrest for drunk driving with a commercial driver’s license has different rules and penalties than a typical DUI. Those convicted of a DUI while driving a commercial vehicle face severe consequences under Louisiana state law. Suspension of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) occurs when a driver breaks the law by driving under the influence. Jail time, fines, and inability to have a commercial driving career are just a few of many possible punishments for violating the law.
Louisiana is famous for its harsh stance on drunk driving violations compared to other states. It doesn’t offer commercial drivers an opportunity to attend defensive driving courses to get a moving violation removed from their records. This compounds the damage done to your driving history and raises the cost of insurance significantly. If you’ve been charged with a DUI as a commercial vehicle driver, it’s time to consider finding a DUI lawyer.
What are the Consequences of a CDL Suspension?
Federal and state laws hold CDL drivers to a higher standard because of the responsibility associated with driving a commercial truck or car. Therefore, DUI thresholds and penalties are much stricter for drivers with commercial driver’s licenses. A major distinction between a CDL DUI and a regular DUI is the reduced blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold. CDL drivers cannot exceed a BAC of .04 while driving a commercial vehicle; meanwhile, the standard BAC for everyone else across all states is 0.08.
Violations that result in the suspension of your Louisiana commercial driver’s license include refusing to take a blood-alcohol test required by Louisiana’s Informed Consent Law, as well as any DUI offense. It’s a guaranteed disqualification if any of these things occur while driving a commercial vehicle.
Administrative and Criminal Penalties for a CDL DUI
If you are arrested for DUI while driving a commercial vehicle, first-time offenses carry a minimum one-year CDL suspension in addition to any other punishment deemed appropriate by the court. If you were also transporting hazardous materials at the time of your arrest, expect a three-year suspension.
Your CDL can be disqualified for life if you are arrested for a second DUI or commit another major violation such as driving under the influence of drugs or leaving the scene of an accident. It may be ten years before the state would consider reinstating your license.
How to Reinstate Your Louisiana CDL
In Louisiana, the steps for reinstating your CDL will depend on your case and what the judge set forth as the requirements.
Typical steps taken include:
- Submitting documents showing you complied with Louisiana’s office of motor vehicles
- Pay a reinstatement fee ranging from $100 – $300 depending on the number of offenses
- Pay any court fees/fines in full
- Meet the SR22 Requirement
- Complete any assigned education courses or other requirements by the court
- The court may also require completion of other steps not listed here due to additional charges you might have received during your arrest
Louisiana DUI Defense Attorneys
The complicated nature of cases involving CDL licensing penalties under federal and state law necessitates hiring a defense attorney for your case. This attorney should have a demonstrated record of success when dealing with the specific situations associated with CDL suspension for a DUI charge.
Eric Johnson of the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm has provided DUI defense service to commercial drivers in Northern Louisiana since 1993. His experience and knowledge of federal and state processes in these matters help protect the rights and reputations of his clients. Contact our law office today at (318) 225-8092 to begin a free consultation about your case to understand what is at stake and how we can assist you.