Commercial DUI Laws in Georgia

There are numerous commercial vehicles on the road all across the country. When a person wants to operate a large vehicle such as a bus or tractor-trailer truck, they must obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). These are massive vehicles that can cause catastrophic events if they are not operated correctly. It is because of this that there are certain rules CDL drivers are required to follow to ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road. This includes not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a commercial driver is found under the influence while driving, they can be charged with a DUI.

DUI Laws in Georgia

In the state of Georgia, it is illegal for anyone to drive under the influence. A person can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.08%. However, it is important to know that Georgia law imposes a lower limit for commercial drivers. If a commercial driver within state lines has a BAC of 0.04% or more, they can be charged with a DUI.

What is Implied Consent?

In order to determine a driver’s BAC, law enforcement officers often administer either a blood, breath, or urine test. Often times, people wonder if they can refuse these tests to avoid charges. However, by driving on state roads, drivers have consented to take a chemical test. If a person denies a test, they can face certain ramifications for doing so. The law states:

  • “Any person who drives a commercial motor vehicle anywhere in the state shall be deemed to have given consent, subject to the provisions of Code Sections 40-5-55 and 40-6-392, to a test or tests of that person’s blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining that person’s alcohol concentration or the presence of other drugs.”

Commercial DUI Penalties

If a person is convicted of a commercial DUI, they can face criminal penalties. For an individual’s first charge, it is usually a misdemeanor. This can result in the following consequences:

  • Fines between $300 and $1000
  • A minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 12 months in prison. More commonly, the individual may face 1 to 10 days behind bars.
  • A total of 40 hours of community service
  • Participation in a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program within 210 days of the conviction or 90 days after leaving jail
  • Clinical evaluation and treatment
  • Probation up to 12 months

It is important to know that penalties for commercial DUI charges can worsen with each subsequent conviction. While a second conviction is still a misdemeanor, a third conviction is a high or aggravated misdemeanor and a fourth conviction is considered a felony.

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