All DUI/OVI Defendants Face
Extremely Serious Consequences
Unfortunately, CDL Drivers Face More Serious
Consequences Than Most DUI/OVI Defendants.
Including the Loss of a
Commercial Driver License.
Even On A First Offense
Fortunately, I May Be Able to Get
Your CDL Suspension Dismissed
Find Out More Details Below...
If an Ohio driver has a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and is charged with CDL DUI/OVI/drinking and driving, the consequences can be especially serious, even when the driver was not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the CDL DUI offense. If you have an Ohio DUI/OVI case, you should consider talking to a top Ohio CDL DUI lawyer to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The penalties on these pages only apply to commercial drivers who are convicted of CDL DUI/OVI. A top Ohio CDL DUI lawyer may be able to prevent that from happening.
Ohio Revised Code section 4506.15 states that it is a criminal offense to drive a commercial vehicle while having a measureable or detectable amount of alcohol or of a controlled substance in the person’s blood, breath or urine. While a normal Ohio driver is permitted to have .07 blood alcohol content (BAC) in a breath test, a commercial driver driving a commercial vehicle cannot even have .01 BAC.
If an Ohio CDL driver tests at .01 BAC while driving a commercial vehicle, he will immediately be placed out-of-service for a twenty-four-hour period. In addition, he can be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree for Driving a Commercial Vehicle with a Detectable Amount of Alcohol or Drugs in his System, an Ohio misdemeanor of the first degree punishable by six months in jail and a $1000 fine.
Further, if the CDL driver who is driving a commercial vehicle is convicted of refusing a breath test or of having a blood alcohol content of .04 or greater, he faces the following penalties for a first offense: (a) a minimum jail term of three days up to a maximum of six months; (b) a minimum fine of $375 up to a maximum of $1075; and (c) an Ohio CDL disqualification for one year pursuant to section 4506.16 (D)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code governing commercial driver’s licenses in Ohio. A second Ohio drinking and driving conviction for a CDL driver driving a commercial vehicle faces more serious penalties including disqualification of CDL for life.
If an Ohio CDL driver is not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the DUI/OVI arrest, he is permitted a BAC similar to everyone else, that being .07 BAC as measured by a breath test. If convicted of DUI/OVI, he faces the following penalties for a first offense: (a) a minimum jail term of three days up to a maximum of six months; (b) a minimum fine of $375 up to a maximum of $1075; (c) disqualification of driving a commercial vehicle in Ohio for one year pursuant to section 4506.16 (D)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code governing commercial driver’s licenses in Ohio; and (d) a Ohio license suspension up to a maximum of three years. A second DUI/OVI conviction for an Ohio CDL driver faces more serious penalties including disqualification of CDL for life, even if he is not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the incident.
The court may grant limited driving privileges so that an Ohio CDL driver may drive a non-commercial vehicle during the period of suspension. However, under no circumstances will the privileges include the ability to drive a commercial vehicle in Ohio while the driver is under any type of suspension. Ohio Revised Code section 4506.161 specifically states that courts do not have the power to issue limited driving privileges for commercial purposes while an Ohio CDL driver is under suspension.
The top Ohio CDL DUI lawyers know the most obvious defense for an Ohio CDL DUI is to prove the commercial driver was not driving the vehicle. Sometimes, commercial drivers in CDL DUI cases are charged even when the police never witnessed the suspect driving the vehicle. Rather, the Ohio commercial driver is asleep in his truck when law enforcement wakes him up to investigate a CDL DUI. While police and prosecuting attorneys generally like to argue that the commercial driver must have driven drunk before they stopped for a break, they are making an assumption that most juries would have a hard time making. While the facts in every case are different, in an Ohio CDL DUI prosecution, the district attorney must prove that the commercial driver was driving beyond a reasonable doubt. A persuasive Ohio CDL DUI lawyer can usually defend such an allegation successfully.
The best Ohio CDL DUI lawyers know that Ohio law enforcement agencies cannot arbitrarily stop Ohio CDL DUI drivers without legally sound reasoning. Rather, in order to conduct a lawful traffic stop in an Ohio CDL DUI case, the officer must be able to give detailed reasonable suspicion that a CDL DUI occurred. If the officer cannot provide that when questioned by defense counsel, the entire CDL DUI case will most likely be dismissed. Experienced Ohio CDL DUI defense lawyers are familiar with this DUI defense and will evaluate each commercial driving case to see if it is applicable.
Top Ohio CDL DUI lawyers recognize that after conducting the roadside CDL DUI/OVI investigation, law enforcement can only arrest a driver if he has “probable cause” to make the arrest. Probable cause is a legal standard that means there is enough evidence for a reasonable person to suspect that the driver is probably operating the commercial vehicle in violation of the Ohio drinking and driving statute. If the court finds that the officer lacked probable cause to arrest the driver, the entire CDL DUI/OVI case will likely be dismissed. The best Ohio CDL DUI defense lawyers are familiar with this defense and will review each commercial driving case to see if it can be utilized.
The best Ohio CDL DUI lawyers are aware of the regulation that requires law enforcement to observe a commercial driver in a CDL DUI/OVI investigation for twenty minutes prior to taking a breath test. Ohio CDL DUI regulations require this so that the suspected CDL DUI/OVI driver doesn’t put anything in his mouth that might cause an inaccurate reading on the breathalyzer. For example, “mouth alcohol” is a widely-known reason for inaccurate readings on virtually all breath testing devices. The officer is required by law to monitor the commercial driver to ensure he does not consume anything, burp, belch, hiccup or regurgitate. Ask yourself a question–have you ever sat quietly and tried to observe another person for twenty consecutive minutes? It’s not easy. Instead, officers quite often review paperwork, write reports, set up the breath testing machine and chat with their peers during this time period. These types of jobs take the officer’s attention away from the suspected CDL DUI driver and because of that, the observation requirement is often not adhered to. If the court finds that officers failed to follow this commercial driving DUI regulation, then there is doubt as to the validity of the breath testing results and the CDL DUI case may be dismissed. The best Ohio CDL DUI defense lawyers know this commercial driving defense strategy and look for it in every case.
A good Ohio CDL DUI lawyer knows that many of the typical symptoms associated with drinking and driving can just as easily be explained by a commercial driver’s fatigue. Police officers often report that a suspected Ohio CDL DUI/OVI driver has red and watery eyes, slow speech, bad driving and poor performance on field sobriety testing. While these may be common signs of intoxication, they are also common signs of fatigue and exhaustion, something commercial drivers often endure in their line of employment. While driving while exhausted is never a good idea, it is not a criminal offense in Ohio like CDL DUI/OVI. Experienced Ohio CDL DUI defense lawyers are familiar with this defense and will evaluate each case to see if it is applicable.
The best Ohio CDL DUI lawyers understand that medical conditions like acid reflux and heartburn surfaces when stomach acid flows backwards into the esophagus. These types of medical conditions are generically called reflux. During reflux, other contents of the stomach may flow back into the esophagus like alcohol. While reflux generally targets the esophagus, sometimes it carry stomach content all the way into the back of a person’s mouth. When this happens after a commercial driver drink alcohol, it causes artificially inflated readings on Ohio CDL DUI/OVI breathalyzers due to mouth alcohol. If a suspected commercial driver charged with CDL DUI/OVI experienced reflux when he blew into a CDL DUI breathalyzer, alcohol from the stomach can combine with alcohol from the lungs and lead to an artificially high reading of blood alcohol content (BAC). This medical issue is not limited to commercial drivers who suffer from regular or chronic reflux. Suspected CDL DUI/OVI commercial drivers who recently ate an unhealthy meal may experience acid reflux or heartburn. If the commercial driver took an Ohio DUI breath test shortly following such a meal, the results may be erroneously high. An experienced Ohio CDL DUI defense lawyer will understand this defense and review each CDL DUI case to see if it works.
Top Ohio DUI lawyers understand that performance on the commercial driver DUI field sobriety tests can be influenced by many factors aside from impairment. It’s not uncommon for the following issues to impact a commercial driver’s performance in field sobriety testing:
CDL DUI sobriety tests were administered to a commercial driver on an uneven surface
CDL DUI sobriety tests were given to a commercial driver on a wet road
The commercial driver’s concentration was impacted by flashing lights on the cruiser
The commercial driver was distracted by the lights of oncoming traffic
The commercial driver was distracted by heavy traffic, especially when on busy roads
The testing area was not illuminated and the commercial driver couldn’t see adequately
The commercial driver took the test in extreme weather conditions, ie. wind, rain or snow
The commercial driver took the tests while wearing cumbersome footwear or clothing
The commercial driver took the tests while being extremely nervous, anxious or scared
Experienced Ohio CDL DUI lawyers know that the federal government, through NHTSA, has established national standards for standardized field sobriety testing. There are three tests and the officers must follow a particular procedure in giving them: (a) the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus; (b) the Walk-and-Turn; and (c) the One-Leg Stand. Understandably, Ohio CDL DUI/OVI officers often fail to adhere to these national guidelines when giving commercial drivers the tests. Many of the officers fail to obtain training on the NHTSA guidelines which can make it easier for a good Ohio CDL DUI lawyer to challenge the entire CDL DUI investigation. There are many things the officers must do to comply with these regulation. Just one is that the officer must provide a commercial driver with instructions. If the officer doesn’t read the instructions to the commercial driver correctly, the test results can be invalid and the court may dismiss the case. At a minimum, the court would forbid the district attorney from using the field sobriety tests against a commercial driver. A top Ohio CDL DUI lawyer knows this defense and will evaluate each case to see if it fits the facts of the case.
The Ohio CDL DUI defense strategies listed on this page are but a small number of the overall defense strategies available for commercial drivers. With the right facts and the right DUI defense strategy, many cases that seem unwinnable can, in fact, be won.
No Ohio DUI/OVI/drinking and driving arrest is perfect and the best Ohio CDL DUI/OVI lawyers knows this. Most Ohio CDL DUI/OVI investigations include a number of witnesses, including police officers and the personnel who collect, store and test chemical samples. These witnesses are human and they make mistakes. Further, most Ohio CDL DUI/OVI investigations include a breath testing device or other testing equipment that is not always maintained according to current Ohio CDL DUI/OVI regulations.
There are over 1 million laws in the United States. I am a top Ohio CDL DUI/OVI defense lawyer who devotes his entire practice to ONE. Because of my experience and concentrated focus, I know the Ohio CDL DUI/OVI laws better than most attorneys in the state. I am passionate about Ohio CDL DUI/OVI defense and I get results, however, I only accept a limited number of clients. If you’re serious about your case and want a top Ohio CDL DUI/OVI lawyer on your team, call me, the Ohio DUI Dude at 1-844-DUI-DUDE.