If you are a Utah commercial driver's license (CDL) holder who has recently been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you should immediately retain a qualified defense attorney to begin fighting your charges. As you may know, those convicted of drunk driving face a number of serious penalties; however, you may be unaware that--even by testing over the legal limit or refusing to take a breathalyzer--you could automatically lose your driving privileges. This administrative license suspension occurs even before you are convicted of your criminal charges, and you have only a limited amount of time during which you can appeal it.

Utah CDL Laws

In Utah, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for most drivers is .08% or higher; however, this is reduced to only .04% for those operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the incident. Please note that this limit does not take into account whether or not your ability to drive was compromised--simply testing over the legal limit could be enough for a DUI conviction.

Because the limit is so low, fighting your CDL DUI may be possible. A defense lawyer can look into your breathalyzer to determine if there were any factors that could have affected your reading. Was your temperature elevated when you took the breathalyzer? Has the machine been calibrated or maintained properly? Do you have a medical condition that could have affected your BAC reading? The answers to these questions could help your attorney develop an effective defense strategy.

Penalties for a CDL DUI Conviction

The criminal penalties for a CDL DUI conviction depend on the number of prior drunk-driving offenses on your criminal record. If this is your first offense (a class B misdemeanor), you could be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.  However, if there are extenuating circumstances, such as you were transporting a child under 16 at the time of the incident, you could be charged with a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and $2,500 in fines.

In addition, you will face a driver's license penalty. For a first CDL DUI, you could lose your license for one year. If you were operating a vehicle carrying hazardous materials, the suspension is increased to three years. If this is your second DUI, you could face a lifetime CDL revocation.

Hire a CDL DUI Lawyer

As you can see, a CDL DUI conviction isn't a minor offense--it can affect your very livelihood. Because so much is at stake, you need an attorney on your side who will work tirelessly on your case to improve your chances of a beneficial resolution.

We are committed to helping CDL holders who have been charged with DUI in Utah.