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What are the penalties for drunk driving for commercial drivers?

Semi-trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles travel down New York's streets and highways everyday. It is an essential part of commerce in the state and across the nation. Driving these types of vehicles takes special care and skill, and usually drivers must hold a Commercial Driver License. However, did you know that the penalties associated with drunk driving are stricter for those who hold a commercial driver license, as compared to drivers of standard automobiles?

First of all, it's important to note that the legal blood alcohol content level for commercial drivers is 0.04 percent, as compared to 0.08 percent for drivers of standard automobiles. The penalties associated with drunk driving are similarly stricter.

For example, a commercial driver's first-time conviction of driving while intoxicated or driving while ability impaired will result in the revocation of their license for at least one year -- three years if their vehicle was hauling hazardous materials. A commercial driver's second conviction of drunk driving will result in their commercial driver's license being revoked permanently, although this revocation may, in some circumstances, be waived after 10 years. However, a third drunk driving conviction will result in the driver's commercial license being revoked permanently with no possibility of a waiver.

As this shows, the penalties for drunk driving are steep, especially for drivers of commercial vehicles. When these drivers are accused of drunk driving they face more than just license revocation, fines and the possibility of jail time. Their very jobs and livelihoods are at stake. Therefore it is important to fight such accusations to the fullest extent, in order to avoid unfair penalties.

Source: dmv.ny.gov, "You And The Drinking Driving Laws," accessed Jan. 19, 2015

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