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Las Vegas Commercial DUI Attorney

Commercial DUI Attorney In Las Vegas, Nevada

Nevada’s drivers are essential to the state’s economy. They drive trucks and buses in almost every aspect of life. As a commercial truck driver, you understand the importance of your job and are held to a higher standard than non-commercial drivers. If you’re caught driving a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04 or greater, you’ll probably be charged with driving under the influence.

You may not know that if you are charged with a DUI in your personal vehicle, and your BAC is .08 or greater, your personal license and your commercial license will both be suspended. In the state of Nevada, a DUI conviction carries a suspension of a minimum of 90 days for your personal and one year for your CDL. These same rules apply if you are caught driving under the influence of drugs or marijuana. If you have a commercial driver’s license and are facing DUI charges, contact our Las Vegas commercial DUI attorney at the Spartacus Law Firm today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you defend your CDL license.

What Is A Commercial DUI In Nevada?

Under NRS 484C.120, a commercial DUI in Nevada is when an individual with a BAC of 0.04% to less than 0.08% is “in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle on a highway or on-premises to which the public has access.” In Nevada, commercial drivers generally include the following:

  • Bus drivers
  • Truck drivers
  • Shuttle drivers

The 0.04% limit for commercial drivers is twice as low as the 0.08% limit for non-commercial drivers. Therefore, a commercial driver with a BAC of just 0.07 can be arrested for drunk driving while a non-commercial driver with an identical BAC would likely be allowed to go free. It’s important to remember that even if a commercial driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) lower than 0.04%, they could still get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if law enforcement believes them to be impaired by drugs or alcohol. If a commercial driver is not considered intoxicated but does have some alcohol in their system below the legal limit, they may still face consequences. That’s why it’s always recommended to speak with an experienced Las Vegas CDL DUI attorney if you’re facing a DUI charge in Nevada.

Penalties For Commercial DUIs In Nevada

First DUI Offense

The Nevada punishment for commercial DUI varies depending on whether it is a first or subsequent offense. A first offense DUI is considered to be a misdemeanor DUI, and if convicted, the individual may face:

  • Either 48-96 hours of community service or two days to six months in jail
  • Between $400 and $1,000 in fines
  • A 90-day suspension of an existing non-commercial driver’s license

Second DUI Offense Within Seven Years

Those convicted of commercial DUI in Nevada for the second time within seven years will face the following penalties:

  • Between 10 days and six months in jail
  • A fine of between $700 and $1,000
  • A one-year suspension of an existing non-commercial license

The courts may order the offender to appear before a victim impact panel, go through DUI school or enter a treatment program for substance abuse for either a first or second conviction. In addition, if the offense took place in a work zone, fines can be as much as doubled.

A Third DUI Offense Within Seven Years

Anyone convicted of a third DUI within seven years in Nevada will face the following penalties:

  • A sentence of from one to six years in state prison
  • A fine of $2,000 to $5,000
  • A three-year suspension of an existing non-commercial license

Commercial DUI Involving Death or Injury

A category B felony is charged when any commercial DUI results in substantial bodily harm. The following are possible penalties:

  • From two to 20 years in state prison
  • Between $2,000 and $5,000 in fines
  • Potential suspension or revocation of an existing non-commercial license

The Suspension Of The Commercial Driver’s License

If a driver is convicted of commercial DUI in Nevada, their CDL will be suspended for one year. If the arrest occurred while the driver transported hazardous materials, the suspension increases to three years. A second conviction permanently revokes the CDL. When a commercial trucker with a BAC of .08 or more is charged with operating a private vehicle while intoxicated, he or she can anticipate losing both their CDL and regular license. The same is true for the commercial trucker who has a BAC of less than .08 but greater than .04 and is arrested for DUI while driving a business car. There are many nuances in these types of criminal charges, which is why it’s highly recommended to speak with a skilled Las Vegas commercial DUI attorney as soon as possible.

Defenses To CDL DUI Charges In Nevada

There are many different defenses that can be deployed in commercial DUI cases. However, some of the more common and effective defense strategies that our Las Vegas CDL DUI attorney can implement include the following:

  1. The defendant was not intoxicated, but he or she was exhausted from driving. And the defendant’s tiredness mirrored those of being under the influence or high.
  2. The vehicle was not actually a commercial vehicle.
  3. The defendant was having a medical episode that made them look like they were drunk, such as a seizure or diabetic coma.
  4. The defendant had dental work that may have caused mouth alcohol to pool, causing an invalidly high breath test result.
  5. The defendant’s high blood alcohol concentration levels might have been caused by acid reflux, auto-brewery syndrome, or another medical condition.
  6. The police lacked reasonable suspicion to make the initial traffic stop.
  7. The police failed to give proper instructions for the field sobriety tests.
  8. The police had no probable cause to make the arrest.
  9. The police did not administer the breathalyzer test correctly, or the device was defective.
  10. The defendant’s blood test samples became contaminated.

Additionally, if your Las Vegas commercial DUI attorney can prove that the fumes from an adjacent truck or bus entered and impaired the driver’s vehicle, leading to the defendant’s impairment, the prosecutor may be willing to reduce or dismiss charges. There are many different defenses available, and every case is different, but a skilled CDL DUI lawyer will be your best option when attempting to defend your commercial driver’s license.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Get A CDL With A DUI On Your Record?

Although you might have a DUI on your record, there is still a chance that you can get your Commercial Drivers License (CDL). However, getting employed with a company that requires a CDL may be more challenging. The majority of companies may not want to hire someone who has been convicted of drinking and driving, especially if the conviction is recent. Some businesses look at your entire driving record for the previous three years. Having a DUI on your record can negatively affect your ability to get hired by some companies. On the other hand, some organizations may hire you after one year of charges; it is best to speak with management at the company in order to understand their policy.

What Is Considered A Commercial Vehicle?

In Nevada, a commercial vehicle is defined as a motor vehicle other than a taxicab that is intended to carry people or things for profit. Delivery trucks, buses, and shuttles are examples of such vehicles. The vehicle must be one of the following for a commercial DUI conviction:

  • A Class B single conveyance with a gross vehicle weight rating, or GVWR, of over 26,000 pounds
  • A Class A combination vehicle whose gross combined weight rating, or GCWR, exceeds 26,000 pounds while towing one or more vehicles having a GVWR of over 10,000 pounds
  • A Class C vehicle intended to convey 16 or more passengers, driver included
  • A Class C vehicle designed to transport hazardous materials

What Are The Commercial Driver DUI Laws in Nevada?

There are state and federal laws that establish DUI penalties for commercial drivers. The Nevada Revised Statute Section 484C.120 lists the guidelines, standards, and punishments for commercial operators convicted of driving under the influence. For typical drivers (aged 21 or older), their blood alcohol content (BAC) must be lower than .08 percent while operating a vehicle; however, for commercial purposes, this limit is lowered to .04 percent BAC. Furthermore, if any drugs or alcohol are consumed before driving,- regardless of the amount -the driver can still be found guilty of a DUI offense.”

Contact Our Las Vegas CDL DUI Attorney Today

For any commercial truck driver accused of DUI in Nevada, it is critical to obtain competent legal representation. At the Spartacus Law Firm, our Las Vegas commercial DUI attorney can raise doubt in the courts about the claims by providing evidence of an unlawful traffic stop, improper police conduct, or faulty testing equipment. If the vehicle doesn’t meet the legal definition of a commercial vehicle, or if there was an accident with a serious injury but it can’t be proven that the driver’s actions caused it, then prosecution is more difficult. Contact our office today for a free consultation and to discuss the details of your CDL DUI charges further.