Tag Archive for: dui accident

The Consequences of a DUI For Commercial Drivers in Fairhope, AL

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense with significant legal and personal consequences. Operating a commercial vehicle while impaired not only jeopardizes the safety of others on the road but also has far-reaching consequences for the driver’s livelihood. A seasoned Fairhope, AL DUI attorney can help you understand the specific penalties and requirements and explain your best legal options for minimizing the impact on your CDL and career.

Commercial License Suspension or Revocation After DUI in Alabama

First DUI Offense

For a first DUI offense in a non-commercial vehicle, a commercial driver’s CDL will be disqualified for one year. During this period, you cannot legally operate a commercial vehicle.

Second DUI Offense

If you get convicted of a second DUI offense in a non-commercial vehicle, your CDL will be disqualified for life. This is a permanent revocation of the CDL, meaning you will no longer be eligible to hold a CDL in Alabama.

CDL Disqualification

If you get a commercial DUI conviction while operating a commercial vehicle, you may lose your license permanently. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, your CDL may be disqualified for one year for the first refusal and three years for subsequent refusals.

Employment Consequences of Drunk Driving in Fairhope, AL

  • Job Loss: Most employers of commercial drivers in Fairhope, AL have strict policies against employing individuals with DUI convictions. If you are convicted of a DUI in Alabama, you will most likely lose your job. This is especially true if the DUI incident occurred while operating a commercial vehicle.
  • Disqualification from CDL-Required Positions: Losing a commercial driver’s license (CDL) due to a DUI conviction may disqualify you from applying for CDL-required positions. These positions are often well-paying and stable employment opportunities.
  • Loss of Seniority and Benefits: For those who had a long-standing career as a commercial driver, a DUI conviction can result in the loss of seniority, benefits, and retirement contributions. This can have a lasting financial impact.
  • Increased Insurance Costs for Employers: A DUI conviction can lead to higher insurance premiums for the employer’s commercial vehicle fleet. This increased expense may result in reduced wages or benefits for all employees.
  • Difficulty Finding New Employment: Even after a DUI conviction, finding new employment in the transportation or trucking industry can be challenging. Employers often check driving records, and a DUI can be a red flag for potential employers.

Federal Regulations for Commercial DUI

For commercial drivers in Fairhope, AL, federal regulations regarding DUI are primarily governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Federal regulations set strict BAC limits for commercial drivers. In Alabama, the legal limit for commercial drivers is generally 0.04% BAC, which is half the limit for non-commercial drivers (0.08% BAC).

In addition, commercial drivers are subject to implied consent laws, which means that by holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you agree to submit to chemical testing, such as breathalyzer or blood tests. Commercial drivers who refuse to take a required BAC test can face disqualification. Certain DUI convictions may require the installation of an ignition interlock device on all vehicles operated by the driver both personal and commercial.

The FMCSA established the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is a national database that tracks drug and alcohol violations for CDL holders. Employers are required to report these violations, and this information can affect your future employment prospects.

How Will Our Lawyers Refute Your Fairhope, AL DUI Charge?

Here are a few key strategies and arguments our DUI defense lawyers in Fairhope, AL will use to challenge your commercial DUI charges:

  • Lack of Probable Cause: Our attorney may argue that law enforcement lacked probable cause to stop or detain you.
  • Challenging Field Sobriety Tests: We may challenge the reliability and accuracy of these tests, pointing out factors such as poor weather conditions, medical conditions, or law enforcement errors that may have affected the results.
  • Breathalyzer Accuracy: We can question the accuracy and maintenance of breathalyzer devices used to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
  • Rising BAC Defense: In some cases, a driver’s BAC can rise between the time they were pulled over and when the breathalyzer test was administered. The attorney may argue that your BAC was below the legal limit while driving but had increased by the time of testing.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions or medications can affect BAC readings and may lead to false positives. We may present medical records and expert testimony to support this defense.
  • Field Sobriety Test Video Analysis: Our dedicated attorney may review video footage of field sobriety tests to challenge the officer’s observations and interpretations of your performance.
  • Chain of Custody: The attorney may examine the chain of custody for blood or urine samples, if applicable. Any break in the chain of custody could raise doubts about the integrity of the evidence.
  • Mistaken Identity: If there is any doubt about the identity of the drunk driver or if someone else had access to the commercial vehicle, we may present evidence to establish an alibi or demonstrate mistaken identity.

Our DUI lawyers will fight till the end to protect your rights. If all options are exhausted, we will strongly negotiate with the prosecution for a plea deal that reduces the charge from DUI to a lesser offense with less severe consequences.

Get a Free Case Evaluation from Our Seasoned Fairhope, AL Criminal Defense Attorneys

The experienced DUI lawyers at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne, P.A. have decades of collective experience in DUI defense. We have represented numerous clients, from first-time offenses to commercial DUIs. We know how to negotiate with prosecutors and present strong arguments and evidence in court to get your charges dismissed or reduced. Depending on the case, we can also explore alternative penalties that minimize the impact on your life. To schedule your free consultation, call 251-928-1915 or reach us online.


Tips for Avoiding DUI Accidents During the Holidays

Nothing throws a wrench in your holiday plans like an auto accident. Unfortunately, the holidays are an incredibly common time for car crashes, especially those caused by impaired drivers. People are getting together for the holidays, indulging a bit to enjoy their time off, and perhaps overestimating their driving abilities. Combine that with poor weather in some parts of the country and drivers who are unfamiliar with the roads, accidents are almost inevitable.

Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or staying close to home, make sure you do everything you can to keep your family safe and limit the risk of accidents. If you are involved in a crash regardless of your efforts to stay safe, we can help. Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne at 251-928-1915 to set up a meeting.

Know the Dangerous Days and Times

Impaired driving crashes can happen anywhere at any time, but there are certain times of the week when you should be even more attentive to the roads around you. Per the Alabama Department of Transportation, drunk driving crashes are fairly uncommon between 4:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M.

They start to really increase by 8:00 P.M., and the most common time for impaired driving accidents is 1:00 A.M. Knowing this can help you minimize your outings between 8:00 P.M. and the morning hours. If you must be on the roads during this time, at least you know to give other drivers extra space.

The most common days for impaired driving accidents are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This often remains true during the holiday season, when people are taking time off of work and spending extra time with family and friends.

Limit Travel When Possible

While travel is an unavoidable part of the holiday season, don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk. Limit your driving to the safer hours of the day and try to combine errands into one trip with multiple stops.

Ramp Up Your Defensive Driving

Defensive driving is always recommended, but it is particularly important when you’re on the roads during the holidays. Take a few minutes to review important defensive driving tips, including:

  • Always be scanning your surroundings
  • Don’t depend on other drivers to protect you—always expect them to act in an unexpected way
  • Leave several seconds of following distance between yourself and the car in front of you
  • Don’t get stuck in a situation that there is no way out of
  • Drive slightly slower than you think you need to
  • Avoid distractions

Review Accident Protocols

Know what you should do if you are involved in an accident. We recommend:

  • Reporting the crash to the police
  • Taking photos of the crash scene
  • Exchanging insurance and contact information with the other driver
  • Being aware of any injuries you may have suffered
  • Seeking medical care right away
  • Contacting a personal injury attorney to explore your legal options

Always Stay Sober

One thing you can always count on when it comes to driving is that you can’t count on other drivers. People know that driving while impaired is an unsafe choice that puts other people at risk, but they choose to do it anyways.

While you can’t stop others from making poor choices, you can at least put yourself in a better position to protect yourself from them. Stay sober when you go out this holiday season, even if you usually only have a couple of drinks. Even small changes to your reaction time or decision-making capabilities could be disastrous if you share the road with a drunk driver.

By following these tips, we hope you’ll be able to navigate this holiday season safely and without incident. You deserve to spend the season celebrating with friends and getting ready for a new year, not dealing with injuries and legal proceedings.

Have You Been Hurt in a Crash? Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne

If you or someone you love is injured in a car crash, make sure you have an attorney you can trust. The team at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne is focused on helping victims pursue the compensation they deserve. To set up a consultation call our Fairhope office at 251-928-1915, or get in touch online.