Today’s economy is dependent more than ever on long-haul truckers and others who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). While long hours on the road and away from family can be difficult, many truckers would agree that they like their job and, more importantly, their job allows them to support their family. So, if a trucker’s CDL license is on the line due to a DUI conviction, it can affect their livelihood in a dramatic manner.
License suspension following a DUI
In New Jersey, if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08% but below 0.10% or your DUI is based on observation regardless of your BAC, you face numerous penalties. One of these penalties is the loss of your CDL license. If it is your first offense, your CDL license will be suspended for one year, regardless of whether you got the DUI driving a passenger vehicle or driving a commercial motor vehicle. If it is your second offense, your CDL license will be permanently revoked, regardless of whether you got the second DUI driving a passenger vehicle or driving a commercial motor vehicle. The loss of your CDL license could cost you your job and your ability to support your family. Note that if you are operating your commercial motor vehicle, the BAC limit is 0.04%
Other penalties for a DUI
There are additional penalties you will face if you get a DUI with a BAC at or above 0.08% but below 0.10% or your DUI is based on observation regardless of your BAC. Your license to drive a passenger vehicle will be lost for at least three months. You may be charged up to $3,905 in fines, fees and surcharges. You could be sent to prison for 30 days. Finally, you could have to spend 12 to 48 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program. Clearly these benefits could prevent you from going to work, thus costing you your job and could even separate you from your loved ones if you are given a jail sentence.
Do not lose hope if you got a DUI
These penalties are certainly serious. It is natural to feel anxious and afraid if you have been charged with a DUI. But do not lose hope. There are defenses you can employ to fight a DUI in New Jersey, thus preserving your job and reputation.