Anyone who is driving on Oregon’s roads needs to know the laws regarding driving while under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). They also need to follow them if they want to avoid a dangerous accident and/or a DUII conviction. However, if you’re a commercial driver, you need to be even more careful. You need to know that there are laws specifically aimed at commercial drivers. Some of them apply to even when you’re driving private vehicles. The penalties commercial drivers face can also cause you to lose your livelihood. If you make your living from driving, there are some things you need to consider. But if you do get a DUI charge, a Portland area DUI lawyer can help.
When Can Your Driver’s License Be Suspended
The Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend your commercial driver’s license for one year for a variety of reasons. No matter what type of vehicle you’re driving at the time, you can lose your license for:
- Being under the influence of alcohol
- Being under the influence of a controlled substance
- Refusing to take an alcohol test
If you drive a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more, you will also lose your license. Notably, this limit is below the 0.08 BAC limit allowed for individuals driving private vehicles.
Suspension for Life
If the courts convict you of two or more major offenses, the DMV will suspend your commercial license for life. These offenses include DUI-related crimes as well as:
- Leaving the scene of a crash
- Committing a felony using a commercial vehicle
- Causing a death because of negligence
- Driving while your license is suspended for a prior commercial vehicle infraction
You may qualify for reinstatement after ten years under certain circumstances. However, you have to avoid getting convicted of any of these offenses during the suspension period. If you get a new conviction, a new ten-year period will start on the date of the new license suspension. That’s not all. If your license is reinstated after the ten-year period, you should do everything possible to avoid getting convicted again. Another conviction means your commercial license will be suspended for life and there is no possibility of reinstatement.
The DMV will also permanently suspend your license for using any vehicle to commit a felony involving a controlled substance. There is no way to get your license reinstated after this. If you’re facing DUII charges, you need to fight them with the help of an experienced Portland DUI lawyer.
Other Considerations for Commercial Drivers
Holders of non-commercial driver’s licenses can apply for a hardship permit when their license gets suspended. Not everyone qualifies. However, those who do are able to drive legally under specific circumstances. This is not an option for commercial drivers. Even if you rely on your license to earn a living, you won’t be able to drive commercially. That’s why it’s so important to avoid conviction in the first place.
How to Avoid Getting a Suspended Commercial Driver’s License
Driving while under the influence of any type of intoxicant is dangerous. This alone should give you pause if you’re tempted to get behind the wheel while you’re intoxicated. However, even if you manage not to get into an accident, your erratic driving may result in a traffic stop. If a police officer finds you’re intoxicated, you’ll face administrative penalties even before you get convicted. The criminal penalties for DUI can also be harsh.
If you’re a full-time commercial driver, you’ll lose your livelihood. This can put lots of stress on both you and your family. The good news is that avoiding a DUII is well within your control. You should never drink and drive. If you do make a mistake, you need to work with a competent DUI attorney.
Contact a Portland DUI Defense Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
Don’t risk your commercial driver’s license or your job. Reach out to the experienced Portland DUI attorneys at the Trilogy Law Group as soon as possible. Let us look into your case. Your charge does not have to lead to a conviction. We will analyze everything from the traffic stop and field sobriety test to chemical testing and your arrest. If mistakes were made, we’ll find them. If you were really driving while intoxicated, we will work hard to get you the best outcome possible. You can be sure that we do everything possible within the law to represent our clients. Call us today and schedule a consultation. Our team is ready to assist you in protecting your freedom, reputation, and job.