Tennessee has strict requirements for commercial drivers. When you work on the road, you have a responsibility to other drivers on the road in addition to the company you work for. If the law charges you with a DUI, you will face serious consequences, including license revocation, fines, and time in jail.
Major offenses for commercial drivers include leaving the scene of an accident, committing a felony with a commercial vehicle, driving with a suspended license, and receiving a DUI. If you face a DUI, keep reading to see what you are up against so you can defend yourself.
Tennessee Commercial Driving Laws
As a commercial driver, you are not allowed to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04% or higher. You may also not operate a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance, which includes illegal drugs.
Due to implied consent laws, all drivers must submit to chemical tests when a police officer requests them. If you fail to comply with blood testing, you put yourself at risk for losing your commercial drivers' license altogether.
Tennessee DUI Laws
Tennessee has strict laws for driving under the influence for personal and commercial drivers. If you face a DUI as a commercial driver, you may also face the same penalties as other drivers on top of license revocation.
Upon conviction, individuals with DUI will spend at least 48 hours (or perhaps up to 11 months and 29 days) in jail. Individuals proven to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 or higher face a mandatory minimum sentence of seven days in jail.
Following jail time, you may face a license revocation for up to one year.
You may be able to travel to work with a restricted license, but you need to apply for this. Additionally, you will struggle to find commercial driving work with this license because you must install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device comes with additional fines, and the law will order you to install it for a prescribed amount of time after you are eligible to receive your license again.
The court could order you to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment program too, especially if you have had more than one DUI conviction in the past.
If your DUI caused anybody injury or death, you may owe restitution in addition to fines to the court. Restitution may pay for injuries resulting from the accident.
Tennessee Commercial Driving Penalties
If you face a major offense as a commercial driver, you are up against several potential penalties. While most offenses have smaller punishments, like a brief license suspension, a DUI has grave consequences. Commercial drivers could face the harshest punishments of all.
For your first violation of a DUI, the state will disqualify your commercial drivers' license for one year. If you were in charge of transporting hazardous materials, the disqualification goes up to three years. With any subsequent violation, you could face disqualification for life.
Tennessee Commercial License Reinstatement
If the state revokes your commercial drivers' license, you may be able to reinstate it if you can provide evidence you have completed the necessary steps for rehabilitation. Your first step is to wait for your suspension or disqualification to expire. Once you have completed the required time limit, you can apply and pay for your new license.
Tennessee Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you are a commercial driver facing a DUI charge, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney today. Goble & Yow Attorneys, PLLC can discuss your case with you. Call us today at (931) 283-2311 to set up a consultation with a knowledgeable attorney.