It takes only half the blood-alcohol level required for a normal driving under the influence (DUI) arrest to result in a conviction for DUI while driving a commercial vehicle. If convicted, your Commercial Driver License (CDL) will be suspended for at least a year, and possibly for life. However, not all vehicles operated for commercial purposes meet the legal definition of a “commercial vehicle”.
Las Vegas Commercial DUI Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with driving a commercial vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is very important that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Michael Pariente is a highly skilled commercial DUI defense lawyer in Las Vegas who will take a meticulous approach to your case to make sure that all legal avenues are explored. He will personally handle all aspects of your case, not farm it out to a less experienced associate.
Pariente Law Firm, P.C. represents individuals who have been arresting for alleged drunk driving of commercial vehicles in Las Vegas, Clark County, Henderson, Paradise, Boulder City, and the surrounding areas. Contact Michael Pariente today at (702) 966-5310 so that he can begin reviewing the facts of your case and crafting a strong defense.
Commercial DUI in Nevada
You can be charged with commercial DUI under NRS 484C.120 if you are driving a commercial vehicle, get stopped by police, and the police claim that any of the following circumstances exist:
- You were under the influence of alcohol;
- You had a concentration of alcohol of 0.04 or more in your blood or breath;
- You were found by measurement within 2 hours after driving a vehicle to have a concentration of alcohol of 0.04 or more in your blood or breath;
- You were under the influence of a drug or were under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol;
- You inhaled, ingested, applied or otherwise used any chemical, poison or organic solvent to a degree which made you unable to safely drive a vehicle; or
- A blood or urine test found signs of drug use.
A commercial vehicle is defined by NRS 484C.120(6)(a) as a vehicle that meets any of the following criteria:
- Has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds;
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds;
- Is designed to transport 16 people or more, including the driver; or
- Regardless of size, is used in the transportation of materials which are classified as hazardous by federal law.
If convicted of commercial DUI, you face the same jail time, fines, and revocation of your driver’s license (not just your CDL) as you would if you got a DUI in your personal vehicle under the same circumstances.
In addition, federal regulations mandate that Nevada suspend your CDL. 49 CFR 383.51 states that your CDL must be suspended:
- One year for a first offense, if not carrying hazardous materials;
- Three years for a first offense, if carrying hazardous materials; or
- Life, for any offense beyond the first.
Even if this is your first offense, the time period of CDL suspension begins after conviction. If you were disqualified from driving for a time period while awaiting trial, this time does not count towards your CDL suspension period like it does for a normal license suspension. For example, if you are arrested on March 1 and convicted on May 1, your CDL will be suspended until May of the following year, even though you have been unable to drive since your arrest in March.
Defenses to Commercial DUI Charges in Clark County
If you had a drink of alcohol after a car accident, it is very possible that you could fail a breathalyzer or blood-alcohol test, even if you were not drunk at the time of the accident. If this is the case, you should not be convicted of commercial DUI.
If you intend to use this defense, NRS 484C.430(4) requires you or your Clark County commercial DUI defense attorney to file and serve on the prosecutor a written notice of your intent to use this defense at least 2 weeks before your trial or hearing. An experienced Las Vegas DUI defense commercial attorney can work with you to ensure that all required filings are made in a timely fashion.
Other defenses may be available, for example the breathalyzer or blood test may have been administered improperly, or police may have obtained evidence illegally.
The prosecution must also prove that the vehicle you were driving at the time met the legal definition of a commercial vehicle. If your blood-alcohol level was between .04 and .08, and the vehicle does not meet the specifications of NRS 484C.120(6)(a), you should not be convicted of DUI even if the vehicle is large and you were driving it for commercial purposes.
Finding the Best Commercial DUI Attorney in Clark County, Nevada
Michael Pariente of Pariente Law Firm, P.C. is a shrewd defense lawyer who has the skills and experience to defend you against DUI charges. If you have been arrested for drunk driving a commercial vehicle, choosing the right attorney who will handle your case appropriately is vital to your future.
Pariente Law Firm, P.C. proudly defends clients in Las Vegas, Clark County, Henderson, Paradise, and the surrounding areas who are facing charges for driving commercial vehicles under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Contact Michael Pariente today at (702) 966-5310 or submit an online form so that he can begin fighting to protect your CDL.