Why You Need an Experienced CDL DUI/OVI Attorney
If you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and you’ve been charged with DUI/OVI (drunk driving) in Ohio, you’ve got a serious problem.
Not only do you face fines and other penalties, just like the drivers of passenger vehicles, you also risk losing your CDL for an extended period of time — possibly forever. You’re not just risking your license, you’re risking your job — your livelihood.
You’re not alone. Every year, many other CDL drivers are in the same boat. And many of them are able to keep on driving with the help of an experienced Ohio CDL DUI/OVI lawyer.
Understanding Ohio DUI/OVI Laws for Truckers
If you have a commercial driver’s license and you’re arrested for DUI/OVI, if a chemical test shows that your blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit your CDL will be suspended for 90 days.
This is true even if you were driving in a non-commercial vehicle at the time you were stopped.
When you’re granted an Ohio CDL, you are assumed to consent to a chemical test for the presence of alcohol or drugs in your system. This is called the theory of “implied consent.” That implied consent applies even if you’re dead, unconscious, or otherwise unable to consent or to object to being tested.
If you hold a CDL and you refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test for alcohol, your CDL will be suspended for one year. If you refuse for a second time, you can lose your CDL for the rest of your life!
Also, just because you refuse that doesn’t mean you won’t get tested. In some circumstances, law enforcement officers can obtain a search warrant to get a sample of your blood. If you’re a repeat offender, they may not even need a warrant — although the legality of this is questionable.
If you have a CDL and you even have the tiniest amount of detectable alcohol in your system while you’re driving a commercial vehicle, you will not be allowed to drive for 24 hours.
Should CDL Holders Consent to a Blood Alcohol Test in Ohio?
As discussed above, you already “consented” when you got your Ohio CDL.
Refusing to take the test is almost always a bad idea. Even if you aren’t under the influence, refusing can cost you your license. If the test shows that you aren’t under the influence, you can avoid any DUI/OVI penalties.
Administrative License Suspensions
An Administrative License Suspensions (ALS) is different from a license suspension imposed by an Ohio court after you’re sentenced for a DUI/OVI offense. The latter type of suspension is called a “court suspension,” as distinct from an administrative suspension.
An ALS can be imposed by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) immediately, without the involvement of a court.
The BMV can impose an ALS if you refuse a blood, breath, or urine test for alcohol or if a test shows a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.
Limited Driving Privileges
If your license is suspended under an ALS, after a waiting period you may be able to apply for limited driving privileges. The length of time you’ll have to wait varies from 15 days to three years and depends on the number of your prior convictions for DUI/OVI and also on the number of times that you refused to take chemical tests.
However, limited driving privileges will only apply to non-commercial vehicles. You’ll still be able to drive your kid to school, or go to the grocery store, but you won’t be able to work as a commercial driver.
Penalties for Trucker DUI/OVI in Ohio
If you’re convicted of DUI/OVI in Ohio, you’ll be unable to drive a commercial vehicle for one year. If you’re convicted for second time, you’ll be disqualified from driving commercially for the rest of your life.
Penalties may also include:
- Fail time
- Court costs
- Points on your license
- Installing an ignition interlock device
- Having your vehicle seized or immobilized
- Alcohol or drug treatment
- Being listed as a habitual offender
How an Ohio CDL Attorney Can Help You with DUI/OVI Charges
It’s not impossible for a commercial driver to fight a DUI/OVI charge, but it’s not easy either. It takes time, and it takes money. Once they recognize how high the stakes are — that they may never be able to drive for living again — many commercial drivers decide to fight and hire an Ohio CDL DUI/OVI lawyer.
It’s important to keep in mind that when you’ve been charged with DUI/OVI you’re probably dealing with both a civil and a criminal law framework. An attorney can help you with both parts.
An ALS is civil in nature. Your attorney can file an appeal of the ALS, and can also file a motion to terminate the ALS or stay (delay) its enforcement. If the stay isn’t granted, your lawyer can ask for you to receive limited driving privileges, as discussed above.
When it comes to the criminal charges, an experienced Ohio trucker DUI/OVI attorney may be able to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed – regardless of whether you actually committed the offense you were charged with.
Law enforcement officers sometimes break the rules, fail to do the paperwork correctly, or fail to show up to testify. An attorney who knows the Ohio DUI/OVI laws can suggest strategies for how to protect your rights.
Yemc Law Offices – A Trusted Resource for CDL Drivers
For over 20 years Yemc Law Offices have helped CDL drivers with their Central Ohio traffic violations. Whether it’s a speeding ticket or an OVI charge, we help you understand the charge and advise you on the best way to resolve it. We help you keep your CDL so you can keep your job.
Contact Us Today
We understand the needs of CDL drivers. We know your livelihood depends on your ability to drive. Whether you’ve been charged with a DUI/OVI, reckless operation or a Hazmat violation, we can help. Contact us today and we’ll give you a free case evaluation.