Commercial drivers in Virginia and across the U.S. have a responsibility to remain sober when they are on the road. Since they drive for a living, it can be problematic if they drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Law enforcement treats these violations seriously, and commercial drivers who are stopped and arrested for DUI must be cognizant of the enhanced penalties they will face if they are convicted.

For those who are arrested and charged with a first or second commercial DUI, it is wise to understand the law. A commercial driver convicted of DUI will face a minimum fine of $250. The blood-alcohol content will determine the length of the jail sentence. For those who have a BAC greater than 0.15 but less than 0.20, they will face a minimum of five days’ incarceration. If their BAC is higher than 0.20, they will face a minimum of 10 days in jail.

If a driver is convicted of a second commercial DUI charge within five years of the first conviction, they will face a minimum fine of $500 and jail time anywhere from one month up to one year. The penalties for commercial driver DUI are severe. They can have a negative impact on a driver’s personal life, as well as their professional life. Not only can there be fines and jail time, but the conviction can result in job loss and limited career prospects.

Simply because a commercial driver was stopped for drunk driving does not automatically imply guilt. The stop itself could have been done improperly, there might have been extenuating circumstances making the driver appear to have been under the influence when they were not, or there could be other avenues for a defense. Before anything else, a commercial driver may benefit from consulting with a law firm experienced in DUI defense.