Maryland DUI Charges & Your CDL
If you are the owner of a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) in MD you stand to lose more than the average person should you be convicted of DUI or other traffic violations. For those possessing a CDL your driving privileges are directly related to your ability to earn a living, support your family and pay your bills. Your CDL license can be suspended even if you were pulled over while driving your personal vehicle.
DUI Penalties with CDL
In Maryland and many other areas of the United States, the penalties for driving under the influence can be very severe for those who hold commercial licenses. Commercial license holders are considered to be in a position of enhanced responsibility for numerous reasons:
- Commercial vehicles have a tendency to be larger and more dangerous than average.
- Commercial vehicles may have cargo such as chemicals that can be very hazardous.
- Commercial drivers typically drive long routes and late hours, requiring alertness.
In Maryland, commercial driver’s licenses can be disqualified for a variety of offenses. There are four key classes of violations: “Major Violations,” “Serious Traffic Violations,” “Violating Out Of Service Orders,” and crossing violations related to the railroad-highway grade.
There are numerous ways to commit violations in each of these classes. Each class carries with it its own set of penalties for first and subsequent offenses. A knowledgeable Dundalk MD Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer can explain the penalties associated with your individual case.
In addition to the risk of losing your commercial license, holders of such a license in Maryland may face serious fines. The complications related to having such an issue on your record may make it difficult for you to obtain employment in the future.
Most commercial drivers who find themselves in this situation may have the opportunity to use Maryland’s First Offense Election program to reduce the potential sentence at the expense of admitting guilt and waiving the right to a trial. However, because of the seriousness of such cases, a commercial driver can still suffer penalties when using this option.
CDL DUI Record Expungements
Ultimately, many commercial drivers will opt to seek an expungement of their Maryland DUI record. It is a good idea to collaborate with a trusted Bowie Maryland DUI defense attorney, as the process can be complex. Generally speaking, only first-time offenders in Maryland are able to pursue expungement.
In order to use this option, the commercial driver must prove he or she has a clean driving record and has not engaged in other criminal or unbecoming activity. In these matters, a criminal record in other states can also sometimes be considered as part of the criteria deciding if expungement can be granted.
Commercial drivers should remember that the blood alcohol content requirements for an offense in Maryland are different for them than said requirements are for other drivers. The difference can lead to many situations where an unacceptable BAC was obtained by accident:
- BAC of .08 or more constitutes a “per se” violation.
- BAC of .02 or more constitutes a violation under age 21.
- BAC of .04 or more constitutes a CDL violation.
Note that for some people, a BAC of .04 can be obtained by having just one drink! The BAC is found during a breathalyzer test, which any officer of the law can administer if you’ve been pulled over upon suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Contact a CDL DUI Defense Lawyer In MD
If you possess and have been charged with a DUI in Maryland please contact our Maryland CDL DUI lawyers to protect your rights and driving privileges. Our MD DUI attorneys will aggressively defend your rights in an effort to achieve the most favorable outcome possible and keep any negative legal, professional & financial consequences to a minimum. Please contact our MD CDL DWI lawyers for a free consult.