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FMCSA Imposes Harsher Penalties on Commercial Drivers Convicted of DUI

A conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs (DWI) carries strict penalties in New Hampshire and other states. Drivers who are charged with or convicted of drunk driving and also have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) face even stricter penalties, especially if they are convicted of a DUI that happened while they were driving a commercial truck or bus.

According to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a driver convicted of DUI may face heavier penalties if he or she also owns or operates a commercial vehicle. These include vehicles owned by trucking or bus companies, vehicles owned by federal, state, or local government units, and vehicles owned by civic organizations and churches. In most states, the legal limit of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for a driver of a commercial vehicle is 0.04 percent, half the legal limit for drivers of private vehicles. The FMCSA also prohibits drivers from driving a commercial vehicle within four hours of drinking alcohol.

After an accident or at a New Hampshire sobriety checkpoint, commercial drivers may also be required to take a breath test or other chemical test to check for alcohol or drugs. If a commercial driver refuses to take a blood alcohol test, the FMCSA may treat the driver as if he or she pleaded guilty to DUI and suspend his or her CDL accordingly.

A DUI arrest or conviction can cost truck or bus drivers their livelihood. If you’re facing a drunk driving charge, please don’t hesitate to call a skilled New Hampshire drunk driving defense lawyer at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (603) 624-3700.