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DUIs for CDL Drivers in Illinois

Posted on behalf of Edward J. Donahue Law, P.C. | August 5, 2021

Commercial drivers in Illinois make a living by driving commercial trucks. To do this, the law provides that they have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Aware of the risk heightened by the huge trucks on the road and the valuable goods carried, the government has stringent guidelines which regulate commercial drivers.

Put briefly, Illinois’ jurisdiction provides stringent legislation governing the actions and conduct of commercial drivers. As such, a commercial driver who flaunts these legal guidelines may find themselves on the wrong side of the law. In other words, if you’ve been found guilty of a DUI charge, then you may be subjected to severe sanctions, which include lengthy license suspensions and jail time.

That said, a DUI charge followed by a conviction may have severe consequences on your life. As such, it is imperative to defend yourself against a CDL DUI charge to avoid the severe consequences associated with the charges.

Illinois DUI Laws Holds Commercial Drivers to Higher Standards

Unlike non-commercial drivers, commercial drivers are held to higher standards. This can be seen in the various ways in which the law sets out to regulate their actions on the road.

For example, the DUI laws in Illinois prohibit drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. As such, any driver who has a higher BAC is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol – a violation of the law.

However, commercial drivers who have a CDL are treated differently. Instead of a BAC at or above 0.08%, a lower legal limit of 0.04% is provided under the law. In other words, any CDL holder is considered intoxicated if their BAC is 0.04% or above.

What Are the Penalties for Illinois CDL Duis?

As mentioned earlier, a CDL DUI charge in Illinois carries severe penalties. Put simply, if you are found guilty of a CDL DUI charge, then you may be subjected to the following penalties:

  • A first-time CDL DUI charge results in a one-year license suspension.
  • A second-time CDL DUI charge can result in permanent license revocation. However, commercial drivers who are eligible to undergo and complete an alcohol awareness program may have their CDL license reinstated after a ten-year license suspension period.

How Implied Consent Applies to Illinois CDL Holders

Apart from having a lower legal limit on BAC levels and stringent penalties, the stringent measures also extend to implied consent law.

Put briefly, Illinois consent laws require drivers to consent to a BAC test if arrested on suspicion of a DUI. If they refuse to take the BAC test, they are deemed to have violated the law, which often leads to an automatic license suspension.

Such a suspension can severely impact a commercial driver rather than a non-commercial driver. With the suspension in effect, you will be prevented from performing tasks that contribute to your livelihood.

How a Lawyer Can Defend You From These Charges

A CDL DUI charge doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be found guilty and eventually subjected to the penalties. This is because certain defenses can be invoked by any person charged with a CDL DUI charge. However, you’ll require the help of a qualified attorney to invoke and use the defenses on your behalf.

An attorney can help you avoid conviction or any other penalties in the following ways:

  • Successfully proving that there was a violation of fourth amendment rights
  • Proving that the arresting officer lacked probable cause for your arrest
  • Proving that the sobriety tests were manipulated or incorrectly administered

Put simply, such defenses are to the effect that they impeach the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence and disprove any allegations tabled by the prosecution. This weakens the prosecution’s evidence, which may eventually prompt the prosecution to lower or drop their charges altogether.

Need Help?

Contact the DUI defense lawyers at Edward J. Donahue Law, P.C. if you are charged with an Illinois DUI. We will gladly help you overcome any legal hurdles.

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