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Truck drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to DUI

When you chose to become a truck driver, you knew that it would require commitment, time and effort. Learning how to drive an 18-wheeler is not an easy task. Controlling one of these mammoth vehicles takes skill, attention and patience.

Because of the immense responsibility attached to making a living as a long-haul truck driver, you are held to a higher standard when it comes to your behavior behind the wheel. Even when in your personal vehicle, you must meet certain standards prescribed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that ordinary drivers do not have to attain.

What does the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration expect?

After earning your commercial driver's license, or CDL, you become subject to the rules and regulations of the FMCSA, which some would say has unreasonably high demands. Even so, you may appreciate the fact that the agency works to keep you and everyone around you safe. For this reason, you receive different treatment if pulled over by police. Even a traffic ticket could jeopardize your ability to drive.

If the officer suspects you of drunk driving, your situation automatically becomes more precarious. The primary reason for this is that you don't get up to a .08 blood alcohol content before the officer places you under arrest. Because of your CDL, you cannot have a BAC of .04 or higher.

That could be as little as a couple of beers depending on your physiology, and it doesn't matter whether you are in your rig or your personal vehicle. If you refuse to take the blood alcohol test, you just pleaded guilty to DUI under the rules and regulations of the FMCSA. 

What can you do?

You need to familiarize yourself with the FMCSA rules and regulations regarding drunk driving to be sure that you do not inadvertently violate them. For instance, did you know that you are not allowed to drive at all if you had a drink within the last four hours?

Perhaps more than most people, you need to challenge DUI charges. Having a conviction for this offense on your record could prevent you from driving a truck in the future. Someone who doesn't drive for a living or who doesn't have a CDL may not feel the impact of such a conviction as you would. Your CDL is your livelihood, and you must protect it as much as you can.

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