Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to drinking and driving. This is due in part to federal laws that govern these drivers. Instead of having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent like noncommercial drivers, people who have a CDL have a BAC limit of only .04 percent. Additionally, federal regulations state that commercial drivers can’t operate a vehicle within four hours from the time they stop consuming alcohol.

It is imperative that drivers who operate these vehicles remain ready to make decisions in the best interests of safety. When they are impaired, they can’t do this. These drivers include semitruck operators, private motor carriers, people who work for any level of government and civic organizations. Bus drivers, for-hire motor carriers and anyone who drives a commercial vehicle are also covered under these laws.

If you are a commercial driver, you can face some very serious penalties if you are arrested for drunk driving or have any other traffic violation. You must notify your employer of the incident within 30 days. It doesn’t matter if you were in a company vehicle or not.

As a result of the DUI, you might have a suspended license. This means you can’t operate a vehicle at all. Your employer can’t allow you to drive either. Unfortunately, there is a chance that your suspension will last longer than it would for a person with a noncommercial license.

You need to review your options for handling these types of cases. The truth is that a conviction could end your career as a commercial driver. Even if you are able to find work again, you might realize that your income potential is lower and that you might have to accept a less desirable job.