While ordinarily you can be convicted of driving under the influence if you are driving while impaired, or driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more, when you drive a commercial vehicle on the roadways of South Carolina, the state has no tolerance for any amount of alcohol and/or drugs in your system. Meaning, you can face serious consequences if you do, including the disqualification or permanent revocation of your commercial driver’s license, even if your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.
In South Carolina, there is a separate driver’s license for those who drive commercial vehicles such as large trucks, vehicles that carry more than sixteen passengers, and buses. Usually, you must pass a written test and a road test to obtain a commercial driver’s license. If you have a commercial driver’s license in South Carolina, you can be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for one year if:
- You are convicted of driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more, or driving under the influence, and you were driving any motor vehicle;
- You drive a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol;
- After being arrested for driving under the influence while driving a commercial vehicle, a chemical test reveals a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent;
- You drive a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance.
In addition, if you drive a commercial motor vehicle on the roadways of South Carolina, you automatically consent to a chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine, to test for the presence of alcohol or drugs if law enforcement requests that you submit to such a test. While you may refuse to take a test, refusal will also result in a one-year disqualification of your commercial driver’s license.
It is important to note that if you are convicted of driving under the influence and at the time of the offense you were transporting hazardous materials, your commercial driver’s license can be disqualified for three years. A second driving under the influence conviction while driving any vehicle can cause you to lose your commercial driver’s license permanently.
Remember, you can be charged with driving under the influence if you are driving a commercial motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol or drugs in your system. If you are a commercial driver’s license holder, any driving under the influence conviction can have serious consequences, including the disqualification or even the permanent loss of your commercial driver’s license. Without your commercial driver’s license, you are likely to lose your job, and you will continue to be unemployable for the duration of the disqualification period. Moreover, even if you become eligible to drive a commercial motor vehicle again, you might be considered an employment risk making it more difficult for you to obtain a job.
Contact Harwell Law Today
If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in South Carolina, and you hold a commercial driver’s license, depending on the circumstances of your case, not only can you be subject to large fines and lengthy prison sentences, but your commercial driver’s license will likely be disqualified or even permanently revoked. Accordingly, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable DUI attorney right away. The attorneys at Harwell Law Firm, P.A., can review the facts and evidence in your case, advise you of your rights and responsibilities under the law, and help you determine your best legal options and chances for a successful outcome in your case.