Criminal Defense Lawyer Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads
Criminal Defense Lawyer Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads

Norfolk, VA DUI Defense Lawyer

Commercial drivers can count on us

Commercial drivers – including truck drivers, delivery truck drivers, school bus drivers and anyone else who needs a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to do their job – know how serious a drunk driving charge can be. If you’re convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Virginia, you could lose your CDL and with it, your job.

With so much at stake, it’s critical that you fully understand your legal rights. That’s why our Norfolk, Virginia DUI defense attorneys want to help. At Welch & Wright, PLLC, we’re committed to building strong legal cases designed to succeed.

The keys to our success are our relentless drive to win and our close attention to detail. We leave nothing to chance. We carefully investigate every case. We prepare every case for trial if necessary. And we thoroughly understand the state and federal laws that apply to CDL DUI cases in Virginia. When your freedom is on the line, you can count on us to rise to the challenge.

DUI laws for CDL drivers in Virginia

Many federal and state DUI laws in Virginia apply to CDL drivers. On the federal level, Title 49, Part 383 of the Code of Federal Regulations includes the rules and regulations that apply to CDL drivers who are convicted of DUI.

On the state level, Virginia Code 46.2-341.31 outlines the state’s restrictions for CDL drivers under the influence of alcohol. The law is very clear – “No person shall drive a commercial motor vehicle while having any amount of alcohol in his blood,” adding, “Any person found to have so driven a commercial motor vehicle shall be guilty of a traffic infraction.”

When are CDL drivers considered legally intoxicated?

The threshold for being considered legally intoxicated is significantly lower for CDL drivers: a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 percent or higher, according to the BAC Standards established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This BAC level is half the amount other adult drivers are considered legally intoxicated in Virginia.

While driving your personal vehicle, you are only held to the same BAC standards as other drivers. However, even if you are convicted of DUI while driving your personal vehicle, there are consequences for your CDL.

Penalties for CDL drivers convicted of DUI in Virginia

So, what happens if you are charged and convicted of DUI while operating a truck or another commercial vehicle that requires a CDL-type license in Virginia? If this is your first CDL DUI offense, such penalties include:

  • Automatic suspension of your commercial driver’s license for 1 year.
  • Minimum fine of $250.

If a CDL driver has a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, they might also be imprisoned for up to 1 year and fined up to $2,500.

Other automatic CDL DUI penalties include:

  • 1-year CDL suspension if you refuse to take a DUI breath test or DUI blood test.
  • 2-year CDL suspension if you refuse to take a DUI test and are convicted of DUI.
  • 3-year CDL suspension if you are convicted of DUI while transporting hazardous materials.

And if you have two DUI convictions – no matter how far apart they occur – then you will have your CDL permanently revoked. Again, this applies whether you are convicted of DUI while driving a commercial vehicle or your personal vehicle. Multiple violations of other DUI related charges, such as Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing, can also result in a lifetime suspension of your commercial driver’s license.

Can a driver with a DUI conviction have a CDL in Virginia?

Yes, but only if you have one DUI conviction and it’s been long enough for your CDL suspension to expire. If you get a second DUI, you can’t have a CDL, period.

Can a CDL driver with a DUI conviction in Virginia obtain a restricted driver’s license?

There is no such thing as a restricted CDL. You may be able to obtain a restricted driver’s license to drive your personal car to work, school, doctor’s appointments, and so on, but you cannot drive a commercial vehicle. So if you get a DUI and your CDL is suspended, you may not be able to keep your job and continue to earn a living. That’s why it’s critical that anyone with a CDL charged with DUI in Virginia responds right away. Call a Virginia DUI defense lawyer at Welch & Wright PLLC.

Know your rights. Contact our law firm

Commercial drivers need their CDL to make a living. Without a CDL, you might be out of a job, fined thousands of dollars and perhaps even sentenced to jail, depending on the circumstances of your DUI conviction.

Don’t take chances with your future. Take action. Contact our law firm to learn more about your legal options. Schedule a free case evaluation with one of our highly skilled, courtroom-tested, results-oriented Norfolk, VA DUI defense lawyers.

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