A semi-driver was arrested last week when he rear-ended a Washington police vehicle. A fellow driver called the Washington State Police to report that a semi was driving erratically on the highway. When the State Trooper caught up with the driver and signaled for him to pull over, the driver attempted to pull over but not before hitting the trooper's vehicle. The accident closed the road for more than an hour. The 25-year old driver was arrested for suspected driving under the influence and his semi-truck was impounded.
Commercial Vehicles in Washington
In the state of Washington, in order to operate a commercial vehicle, or semi-truck as in the scenario above, the driver must have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). A commercial motor vehicle is typically defined under the law as a vehicle that transports passengers or property and is a vehicle with any of the following attributes:
- "The vehicle has a gross weight of 11,794 kg or 26,001 pounds;
- The vehicle is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver;
- The vehicle is used to transport hazardous materials;
- The vehicle is a school bus In order to operate any of these types of vehicles legally, a driver must have a CDL."
If you drive this type of vehicle as a part of your employment then you have a CDL and can imagine what a DUI may do to your job, livelihood, and ability to maintain your commercial driver's license.
Commercial DUI in Washington State
According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, a conviction in court for driving any motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to a disqualification of your CDL license. If you are convicted of a DUI and it is a first-time DUI that you have, then the disqualification period is for one year or three years if you were transporting hazardous materials. You will be disqualified from carrying a CDL for life if you have two or more convictions of DUI. In the event that you are eligible for requalification, the Department of Licensing has outlined the steps necessary to requalify:
- "Pass the CDL knowledge and skills tests;
- For a hazardous materials endorsement, pass a separate knowledge test. (We also may require you to show us a letter from the Transportation Security Administration stating you passed their background check.);
- Pay a $35 re-qualification fee."
Call a Seattle Commercial DUI Lawyer
If you are CDL driver, losing your license can quite literally mean losing your career. If you have a CDL and have been arrested for a DUI, it is imperative that you obtain strong legal representation immediately. Commercial DUI defense lawyer, Steve Karimi, is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in the King County area. At the Law Offices of Steve Karimi, you always have options. Mr. Karimi is an experienced and dedicated commercial DUI lawyer who has a proven track record of successfully defending the rights of those accused. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.