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Indiana - Commercial Drivers and Drunk Driving

Commercial drivers in the state of Indiana can be charged with drunk driving if they are driving with a blood alcohol content level of 0.04%. The illegal limit for a commercial driver is less than the legal limit for a non-commercial driver which is 0.08%.
The Great Seal of the State of Indiana
One of the main concerns if you have been arrested for drunk driving and you are commercial driver is whether or not you will be issued a provisional license which will allow you to continue to operate your commercial vehicle. Unfortunately, if your driver’s license has been suspended, revoked or cancelled through an administrative license suspension and your drunk driving case is pending the state of Indiana will not issue you a provisional commercial license. Higher penalties for commercial drivers were instituted through the Carrier Safety Improvement Act, which the state of Indiana follows. Failure to comply with this act may cause the state of Indiana to lose their ability to issue commercial licenses to commercial drivers.

Who has to have a commercial driver’s license?

  Commercial vehicles in the state of Indiana include any vehicle which has a gross weight of more than 26,000, a trailer which has a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds or a vehicle that transports more than 16 people. Drivers who are carrying hazardous materials must also have a commercial driver’s license. Indiana state laws regarding commercial driver’s licenses are very strict because the state recognizes the increased need for safety and the need for drivers to follow very specific rules and procedures if they are operating a commercial vehicle.

Penalties for drunk driving in Indiana

Commercial drivers in the state of Indiana have given their implied consent to submit to a blood alcohol content test if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. Failure to take the blood alcohol content test or taking the blood alcohol content test and having a blood alcohol concentration above the illegal limit of 0.04% will result in a one year license suspension. Drivers can also lose their license if they are convicted of operating a commercial vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, drivers who are carrying hazardous materials face even higher suspensions. Currently, drivers can have their driver’s license suspended for three years. What if you are arrested a second time for drunk driving? You will have your license suspended for life.

Hiring a DUI lawyer in Indiana

  Many commercial drivers are concerned that they will lose their commercial driver’s license after a drunk driving arrest. This is a valid concern. First, the driver must address the administrative license suspension that may result from the DUI arrest and then the potential DUI criminal penalties and fines they may face if they are convicted of drunk driving. Challenging the administrative license suspension must be done within 10 days from the DUI arrest. Although these challenges are hard to win it may be worth discussing your DUI arrest with an Indiana DUI lawyer for more information.
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