Bossier City/Shreveport DUI Attorney for CDL License Holders

Commercial vehicles are the largest and heaviest vehicles on our roads, and commercial truck drivers have a responsibility to drive safely whenever they’re behind the wheel. When a commercial license holder is caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can face serious punishments, even if they are operating a non-commercial vehicle at the time of the arrest.

If you are a commercial driver and you have been accused of driving under the influence, it’s important that you keep any and all DUI charges off of your record to preserve your livelihood. Luckily, Shreveport DUI defense attorney Michael J. Vergis can help protect your driving record and your career, even in the face of a CDL DUI charge.

As a seasoned DUI attorney, Michael J. Vergis is well-versed in Louisiana’s laws and regulations regarding these offenses. He knows the potential repercussions of a DUI, especially for commercial driver’s license holders, and is here to guide you through every step of the legal process, offering you personalized attention and strategic counsel tailored to your specific situation.

Take control of your future–call (318) 698-3724 to schedule a free consultation with experienced Louisiana CDL defense attorney Michael J. Vergis today.

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What is a Louisiana CDL License?

A Louisiana Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) allows individuals to operate commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers, buses, and large trucks. The CDL is classified into different categories based on the type of vehicle and the cargo transported, ensuring that each commercial driver has the necessary skills and knowledge to safely operate their specific commercial vehicle.

CDL License Requirements Louisiana

There are a number of requirements that individuals seeking commercial driver’s licenses must meet before they can receive their CDL, which can be found in the Louisiana CDL manual. In order for someone to earn a CDL in Louisiana, they must:

  • Have a valid picture driver’s license
  • Complete a supplemental application form
  • Pass a current DOT physical examination or equivalent test
  • Provide proof of liability insurance (if driving a personally-owned commercial vehicle)
  • Provide proof of Social Security number
  • Provide proof of Louisiana residency
  • Pay the $15 application fee
  • Obtain a commercial learner’s permit
  • Pass a skills test administered by a CDL third-party examiner

Once all of this is complete, they may be able to obtain a CDL from the Office of Motor Vehicles. 

What Happens if You Get a DUI With a Commercial Driver’s License?

If you are arrested for a commercial DWI/DUI as a CDL holder, you can face serious criminal consequences as well as license suspension or revocation, depending on your prior record and the circumstances of your situation. These penalties apply even if the DUI occurs while driving a personal vehicle. 

It’s important that CDL drivers accused of driving under the influence seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney, especially one who is well-versed in defending commercial drivers from DUI charges. With his in-depth experience handling a variety of criminal defense cases, Bossier City criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis is well-equipped to handle DUI defense cases for both commercial and non-commercial drivers.

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Louisiana follows federal law when it comes to CDL drivers and DUI charges. A commercial driver is considered legally impaired if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher. That’s equivalent to about 2 alcoholic drinks, and is lower than the BAC threshold for other drivers, which is 0.08% in Louisiana and other states. 

Additionally, CDL drivers are subject to Louisiana’s informed consent law, which states that anyone operating a motor vehicle on public highways is deemed to have consented to a chemical test for BAC. If you refuse a breath, blood, or urine test, you will be treated as if you’ve been charged with a DUI and will be subject to the relevant penalties. 

What are the Penalties for a DUI with CDL in Louisiana?

Penalties for a DUI with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Louisiana are particularly harsh, as they aim to ensure CDL holders uphold their responsibilities as commercial drivers and keep the roads safe from a potentially disastrous commercial vehicle accident. These penalties include monetary fines, jail time, license suspension, and potential lifetime disqualification of the CDL.

First-Offense DUI with CDL

For a first offense DUI while operating a commercial vehicle, a CDL holder may have their CDL suspended for one year. If the driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time, the suspension period increases to three years.

Additionally, they will face other drunk driving punishments, which include fines between $300 and $1,000 as well as jail time for anywhere between 10 days to 6 months. They may also be asked to participate in a driver improvement program, a substance abuse program, or community service.

Subsequent CDL DUI Offenses

For a second DUI while driving a commercial vehicle, a commercial driver may have their license revoked for life. They may also spend a mandatory 48 hours in jail, can be sentenced to anywhere between 30 days and 6 months in jail, and can be required to pay $750 to $1,000 in fines. 

If the driver has not had a previous DUI conviction, but they do have a different major violation on their driving record, then they may still face license revocation. Other major violations include fleeing the scene of an accident or using their commercial vehicle to commit a felony offense in Louisiana

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Legal Rights and DUI Defense for Commercial Drivers

Like any other driver, a CDL driver has a variety of legal rights that law enforcement must respect, even when suspected of driving under the influence. Commercial drivers have the right to remain silent and do not have to provide law enforcement with information outside of their identifying information, like name and address. 

Commercial vehicle drivers also have the right to an attorney, and should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible following their arrest. Additionally, CDL holders have the right to a fair trial, and can defend themselves against their DUI charges.

If you are a commercial vehicle driver and you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a DUI defense attorney can help provide you with more information regarding your rights. Not only that, but they can help defend against the charges, ensuring your driving record and criminal record are protected from harm. 

Louisiana DCL License Reinstatement Following DUI

After a DUI conviction, in order to have your CDL reinstated, you will have to serve the entirety of your mandatory suspension period. Depending on the court’s orders, you may also have to complete a substance abuse evaluation or treatment program, and will likely have to pay any fines or fees associated with the offense. 

Additionally, you may need to provide proof of insurance coverage and may need to retake written and skills tests depending on the duration of your suspension. 

Choosing the Right Louisiana Commercial Vehicle DUI Lawyer

When searching for an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend against your DUI charges, you’ll want to find an attorney with experience handling DUIs for CDL drivers

Commercial license holders are held to higher standards than other drivers and face additional punishments for DUI convictions, so it’s important to find an attorney who can handle the job.

Ensure they have a successful track record and familiarity with local courts and procedures. Additionally, seek lawyers who prioritize clear communication, provide personalized attention, and are committed to vigorously advocating for your rights, like criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis.

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Call an Experienced Shreveport/Bossier CDL DUI Attorney at the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis Today

If you’re facing DUI charges as a commercial driver in Shreveport or Bossier City, Louisiana, it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side. Attorney Michael J. Vergis understands the serious consequences that DUI convictions can have on your livelihood and future opportunities. 

With years of experience defending clients against DUI charges, Attorney Vergis and his team at The Law Office of Michael J. Vergis is dedicated to providing strong legal representation to his clients, fighting tirelessly to protect their rights and to secure the best possible outcome for their case. He works closely with each client to craft personalized defense strategies tailored to their unique circumstances and will develop a defense designed to protect you and your future from the long-lasting consequences of a commercial DUI or other major violation.

Call our law firm at (318) 698-3724 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with Louisiana CDL DUI lawyer Michael J. Vergis today.