If you have a Maryland commercial driver’s license (CDL), your livelihood depends on your ability to operate a commercial vehicle. For commercial drivers, the consequences of being convicted with DUI are much more devastating than for non-commercial drivers. This is because being arrested for DWI or DUI in Maryland not only subjects you to the ordinary administrative and criminal consequences, but also puts you at risk for having your CDL disqualified. This is true even if you weren’t operating a commercial vehicle at the time of your arrest.
Penalties for CDL DUI in Maryland
In Maryland, the operator of a non-commercial motor vehicle is considered drunk if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or above. However, if you hold a CDL and were operating a commercial vehicle, the BAC threshold is lowered to .04 percent. In addition to the lower BAC limit, the penalties are more severe for commercial drivers caught driving with a BAC between .04 and .159 percent, since the offense automatically puts CDL drivers in the “High Impairment” tier of DUI. A first-time CDL DUI conviction carries penalties ranging from 2 days to 6 months in jail; $500 to $5,000 in fines; a one (1) year suspension of your personal driver’s license; and a one (1) year disqualification of your commercial driver’s license. The disqualification of your CDL is lengthened to three (3) years if you were carrying hazardous materials at the time of your DUI arrest.
First Offender Programs In Maryland
First-time DUI offenders may be eligible for one of the various first offender programs in maryland program. These programs can give first-time offenders a break in terms of the consequences of their DUI, but not everyone is eligible. Maryland DUI court, drug court and other diversion programs initiative offers many benefits to persons who successfully complete the program, including no jail time and a reduced license suspension. Another benefit of a first offender program is that you will not have to disclose your DUI as a conviction to current or future employers. While successful completion of Maryland diversion program can greatly reduce the consequences of a DUI charge for first-time offenders, it may not be right in your case. This is because there may be other defenses to your DUI arrest. For example, the arresting officer may not have had probable cause to stop you, or there may have been a problem with the breathalyzer machine. There is no way of knowing what defenses may be available to you, until I have had the opportunity to review your case.
Contact A MD CDL DUI Lawyer Today
Our Baltimore, Maryland CDL DUI lawyers have many years experience defending against all types of DUI charges in Maryland, including those involving a commercial driver’s license. If you or someone you love has been arrested for DUI, it is important to have an attorney on your case as soon as possible. Contact our Rockville DUI attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.