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DUI in a Commercial Vehicle or with a CDL

Any arrest for DUI while driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle is a serious offense under Florida law. The consequences are more serious when the driver is in a commercial vehicle or holds a commercial driver's license.

The CDL holder must worry about the administrative consequences that come with an administrative or "on the spot" suspension and the criminal consequence that come with the court ordered sanctions if a DUI conviction is not avoided. 

Under Florida law, a person can be charged with the offense of DUI in a Commercial Motor Vehicle under any of the following theories:

  • When the driver of the commercial vehicle has a blood alcohol level of .04 or above; or
  • When the driver of the commercial vehicle is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
  • When the driver refused to submit to a test to determine the alcohol concentration when driving a commercial motor vehicle; or
  • Under any of the normal DUI laws that apply to drivers of non-commercial vehicles.

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Attorney Commerical Driver DUI in Tampa, FL

Contact an experienced DUI Lawyer in Tampa to discuss any case for operating a commercial motor vehicle or holding a commercial driver's license while DUI. The consequences for a DUI in a commercial vehicle or by a CDL holder are serious.

Don't wait too long. You only have 10 days after you arrest to protect your driver's license from a suspension and your commercial driver's license from a disqualification. The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, can help you with both.

Call 813-250-0500.

Florida Alcohol Laws Specific to Commercial Vehicles under 322.62

The Florida statutory presumptions of impairment that apply to blood or breath alcohol results do not apply to commercial vehicle alcohol offenses. However, the prosecutor can still bring a prosecution for DUI under Section 316.193, even if the defendant was driving or in actual physical control of a commercial vehicle.

Any Alcohol: Under Florida Statute Section 318.18, driving or being in actual physical control of a commercial vehicle with ANY amount of alcohol in the body can result in a traffic infraction. See Florida Statute Section 322.62(1).

Alcohol Level of .04: If the commercial driver's blood or breath alcohol level is .04 or higher then the punishment is listed in 322.62(2)(b).

Definition of Commercial Vehicle

Florida law defines commercial vehicles to include any of the following types of vehicle driven on the streets or highways in Florida:

  • vehicles with a declared maximum weight for purposes of registration when loaded of over 26,000 pounds (as defined in Florida Statute Chapter 320);
  • vehicles with a "gross vehicle weight rating" of more than 26,000 pounds (as defined in Florida Statute Section 322.01(22));
  • vehicles with a combined weight including the weight of the load as figured by the fixed scale operated by a portable scale operated by any law enforcement officer or a fixed scale operated by the State of Florida;
  • vehicles designed to transport a driver and more than 14 passengers; or
  • vehicle that must be placarded as required by Title 49 C.F.R., part 172, sub part F, in order to transport hazardous materials.

Ineligible to Operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle

In addition to any other punishment imposed in the criminal case, any person convicted of DUI in a Commercial Motor Vehicle or being in possession of a controlled substance while driving a commercial motor vehicle will suffer the following:

  • First conviction: the driver is not eligible to operate a commercial motor vehicle for a period of twelve (12) months;
  • Second or subsequent conviction: the driver is permanently ineligible to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

During the period in which the individual is ineligible to drive a commercial motor vehicle, there is no provision for a hardship license (either a business purpose only or a employment) driver's license to operate any commercial motor vehicle.

Contact an experienced Tampa DUI Lawyer in Hillsborough County for DUI commercial motor vehicle cases in Tampa and Plant City, Florida by calling the Sammis Law Firm, P.A.

Our lawyers also represent CDL holders charged with criminal driving offenses throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Hernando County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Manatee County and Polk County, FL.

Call 813-250-0500.

This article was last updated on Friday, January 5, 2018.