As a commercial driver, the state holds you up to higher standards than it does typical motorists. This is because an accident involving a big rig can have much more devastating consequences than a crash between two sedans, or a sedan and a pickup truck. This is especially true in cases in which the big rig is carrying hazardous or dangerous materials. To keep trucking accident rates down, the state employs a number of precautions, one of which is a lower legal BAC limit for commercial drivers.
Commercial BAC Limits
In New Mexico, as in every other state, a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 is considered the point of intoxication. For most people, a single beer, mixed drink or glass of wine is enough to put them at this level. As a commercial driver, your threshold is even lower. If an officer stops you while you’re driving a commercial vehicle and requests a breath or blood test, and if the test reveals that your BAC is .04% or greater, you may face a commercial DWI charge and related penalties.
Penalties for a Commercial DWI
The penalties associated with a commercial DWI conviction look or more less than same as those of a standard DUI. In addition to jail time and fines, you face probation, community service requirements, alcohol screening and counseling, DWI school and the need for an ignition interlock device on your non-commercial vehicle. However, unlike many other DWI defendants, your livelihood is at stake.
If convicted of a commercial DUI, your commercial license will be suspended for one year. If this is your second DUI conviction, you will lose your commercial license for life. This is true even if the first offense took place in a non-commercial vehicle. If you were transporting hazardous materials, you risk losing your license for three years on the first offense.
You Don’t Have To Drink To Receive DWI Charges
New Mexico prohibits driving while impaired, period. Many substances can impair your motor functions, including the prescription medications your doctor prescribed to you. If an officer suspects you of driving while impaired, he or she can arrest you and charge you with a DWI/DUI, even if your BAC is below a .04%.
Fight the Charges With an Experienced DWI Defense Lawyer
New Mexico law takes a strict stance against DUI/DWI offenses, and the courts are notorious for upholding it. If you hope to beat the charges and retain your commercial drivers’ license, you need an aggressive and experienced DWI defense attorney on your side. With decades of experience defending DWI defendants, Simon A. Kubiak of Simon A. Kubiak, Attorneys At Law, PC is your guy. Contact our Albuquerque law firm today to learn more.