Truck drivers are often responsible for transporting goods that, together with the weight of the truck, may total as much as 40 tons. Traveling at highways speeds or through city traffic, this much weight can mean devastating damage if the driver makes a mistake. Understandably, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established rigid rules governing those with commercial driver’s licenses, particularly when it comes to alcohol consumption. These rules are important to understand if a truck driver is building a DWI defense.
Minnesota laws related to driving while impaired set .08 as the legal limit for any adult driving a passenger vehicle. For those operating commercial vehicles, however, the limit is far lower at .04. Additionally, a driver who consumes alcohol may not get behind the wheel of his or her truck for at least four hours. By consuming alcohol, the FMCSA means anything, including medication, that contains alcohol.
While drivers operating their personal vehicles are seldom subject to random alcohol testing, CDL drivers are and may not refuse without serious consequences. A drunk driving arrest for someone who holds a CDL, even if that person is driving his or her own vehicle, can mean license suspension for up to a year. This can significantly harm a trucker’s career and livelihood.
For this reason, it is important for anyone with a CDL who is facing alcohol-related charges to obtain quality legal representation. The loss of a CDL can be a devastating financial blow to a trucker’s family. With the help of an experienced DWI defense attorney, it is possible to minimize those negative consequences.