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Individuals who operate commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard, including when it comes to operating vehicles under the influence. While the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level for drivers in regular vehicles is .08%, the limit is half that for drivers operating commercial vehicles – .04%. Working with an experienced Phoenix drunk driving accident attorney can help fight for your rights if you have been injured by a truck driver under the influence.

Arizona dui laws for truck drivers

What the Law Says About Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Alcohol

If a commercial truck driver is charged with a DUI in the state of Arizona, then their commercial driver’s license (CDL) is suspended by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). Drivers must meet various requirements in order to have their license reinstated.

A determination of whether or not a CDL may be disqualified will be made depending on whether or not the violation was committed inside of a commercial vehicle or in a non-commercial vehicle at the time of the arrest.

The following Arizona laws and blood alcohol limits affect commercial driver’s license holders:

  • If a CDL-holder is stopped while driving a regular vehicle and their blood alcohol content level is over .08%, the driver can be arrested, and both their personal driver’s license and the CDL could be suspended for different periods of time.
  • If a CDL-holder is found operating a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content level over .04%, then their CDL will be suspended.

If a CDL holder is convicted of DUI in Arizona, a license suspension can last anywhere from 30 days to a year. Some individuals may qualify for a conditional license, but repeat offenders could lose both their regular and commercial driver’s licenses for at least a year.

In addition to license suspensions, individuals convicted of a DUI could face major fines, probation, or jail time. The penalties in Arizona are based on the blood alcohol range at the time of the arrest:

  • BAC between .04% and .15% while operating a commercial vehicle:
    • Minimum of 10 days in jail
    • A fine of at least $1,250
  • BAC of .15% or more while operating a commercial vehicle:
    • Minimum of 30 days in jail
    • A fine of at least $2500

Any subsequent DUI offenses will result in much stiffer penalties for the CDL license holder. If a CDL license holder refuses to take a blood alcohol content test, then their license will be suspended for 12 months. This suspension can increase to two years for refusal to take a chemical test, depending on the person’s prior offenses.

What About Driving on Other Substances?

Individuals in Arizona can be pulled over and arrested for DUI if they are impaired by substances other than alcohol. Experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyers have seen impairment caused by various types of substances, including illicit narcotics, prescription medications, and even certain types of over-the-counter medications if taken incorrectly.

The process of a DUI arrest will not look different for substances other than alcohol. If a law enforcement officer suspects that a commercial driver’s license holder is impaired, they can affect an arrest and request a chemical test. Individuals can still receive DUI penalties if they operate a vehicle while impaired by a substance other than alcohol.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver operating a vehicle under the influence, get in contact with a Phoenix personal injury attorney for legal representation with your claim.