Most drivers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere know that getting caught driving under the influence can have stiff consequences. As a commercial motor vehicle operator, however, DUI charges may have even greater repercussions. At the Bellwoar Kelly, LLP, we have helped numerous commercial drivers understand how a drunk driving arrest may affect their livelihood and aided them in establishing defenses aimed at retaining their commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).

For most drivers in the state, it is considered illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater. However, for commercial drivers, having any alcohol in their systems could result in a DUI charge and serious penalties. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the legal limit when operating a commercial vehicle is 0.04 percent.

If you are found operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC level over the legal limit, you may lose your commercial driver’s license, and with it, your ability to operate a commercial vehicle in the state. For a first-time offense, you will be disqualified for one year. You will be stripped of your license for life for incurring a second offense.

Just by obtaining a CDL in the state, it is given that you consent to chemical testing to determine your BAC level. Even if you are eventually acquitted of the drunk driving charges, you could face a license suspension for refusing to submit to a breath, blood or urine test. Your CDL may be suspended for one year just for refusing chemical tests, and you may lose your right to drive for at least two years if you are convicted of DUI.

More information about DUI charges in Pennsylvania is available on our web page.