Anyone who gets behind the wheel after having too much to drink could potentially increase the risk they and other people have for a crash, which is why it’s illegal to drive while drunk in every state. Commercial drivers who operate larger, more dangerous commercial vehicles are subject to even stricter legal limitations on their consumption of alcohol prior to driving.

Those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) could lose their license while driving in a situation that would not even result in criminal charges if they were in a standard passenger vehicle.

Commercial drivers aren’t subject to the same alcohol limit

The general limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in a driver is .08%. Any driver who gets tested with a BAC higher than that will likely find themselves subject to arrest and criminal charges. For someone operating a commercial vehicle, the permissible BAC drops to .04%.

Anyone in a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04% or higher could face the same charges as someone driving a passenger vehicle with double the BAC they have.

A drunk driving arrest off duty can also affect your license

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about those who have a CDL is that their licensing is only at risk if they get in trouble for drunk driving while in control of a commercial vehicle. However, commercial drivers usually get held to a much higher standard, which means they could very well lose their eligibility for a commercial license if they get caught driving while drunk in their own vehicle.

Anyone facing DUI allegations who drive for a living will want to fully consider the potential impact of those charges and their options for defense.