Defense for Commercial Vehicle DUI and DWI

We’re skilled in handling commercial vehicle DUI cases - contact our firm today!

A commercial vehicle DUI is a more severe offense than the charges of a non-commercial driver because of the laws in place for these drivers. These laws are so strict in both Missouri and Kansas that you may lose your CDL even without operating your commercial vehicle.

At the Law Office of Denise Kirby, we understand the especially harsh penalties of a commercial vehicle DUI and strive to help prevent you from losing your career and commercial driver’s license. Attorney Denise Kirby will discuss the expectations for your case and work diligently to close it with a satisfying outcome. Her 25 years in business have given her the expertise to provide an effective legal defense covering all aspects of your case.

Missouri Commercial Vehicle DUI Penalties

Missouri and Kansas both have strict laws for commercial drivers when it comes to drinking and driving.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a commercial driver must not have a BAC of or greater than .04%. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations set this standard and others regarding the safety of commercial vehicle operation to reduce driving accidents.

The FMCSA regulations apply to owners of commercial vehicles, those who assign drivers to commercial vehicles, all levels of government, churches, and other organizations. Following these regulations, you may not operate commercial vehicles if you have used alcohol within four hours.

A first commercial vehicle DUI offense in Missouri results in the following charges:

  • A 90-day non-commercial license suspension
  • A one-year CDL suspension, or three years if transporting caustic material when committing the offense
  • Up to six months of jail time
  • Up to $500 in fines

In addition to a Class A misdemeanor for a second offense, the court will permanently revoke your CDL. The DMV can order a suspension of your regular license, and you will receive up to one year in jail with fines up to $1,000. Refusal to take a breathalyzer test immediately results in the three-year loss of your CDL. If you do not have a BAC of .04% or higher, you may receive a 24-hour driving restriction.

Commercial DUI Charges for Kansas CDL Holders

Kansas has much stricter laws for truck drivers starting from their very first commercial vehicle DUI conviction. You will receive a nonperson Class B misdemeanor for a first-time offense and face up to six months in jail. A first offense also results in a non-commercial driver’s license suspension for a year.

Second offense penalties are significantly more effective, with a charge resulting in a Class A nonperson misdemeanor. This DUI charge results in:

  • Lifetime CDL revocation
  • Up to one year in jail but no less than 90 days in custody
  • Fines from $1,250 to $1,750, not including other legal costs
  • Loss or suspension of a non-commercial license if BAC is over .08%

If you get a DUI charge in a non-commercial vehicle, you will immediately lose your CDL and driving privileges if you are a commercial driver. You can also lose your CDL for one year if you drive a non-commercial vehicle and your BAC is at or over .08%. There are also cases where you are not driving but are still eligible to receive DUI charges if you are under the influence of alcohol or other substances:

  • Sitting in the driver’s seat of your commercial vehicle while intoxicated
  • Sleeping in the front seat of your commercial vehicle with the keys in the ignition

Navigating commercial vehicle DUI laws is not easy when so much is on the line. An experienced attorney in Kansas City, MO, can help you understand the specifics of your charges, help you reach a desirable outcome, and fight the results of your breath or blood test.

Facing commercial vehicle DUI charges can be incredibly nerve-wracking for those who rely on commercial vehicles to make a living. Attorney Denise Kirby has the means to aggressively defend your commercial case when threats of losing your CDL or non-commercial license arise. She takes your commercial vehicle DUI case seriously to help you keep your CDL and protect your future.

If you are a driver convicted of commercial vehicle DUI, your future is not over. The Law Office of Denise Kirby will work to help you keep your CDL and more. Contact DUI Attorney Denise Kirby in Kansas City, MO, at 816-578-8177.

Frequently Asked Questions

In Missouri, a commercial vehicle DUI results in a 90-day suspension of the non-commercial license and a one-year CDL suspension, with a three-year suspension if transporting hazardous materials. A first offense may also result in up to six months in jail and fines up to $500. A second offense leads to permanent CDL revocation, up to one year in jail, and fines up to $1,000. Refusing a breathalyzer test results in a three-year CDL suspension.
In Kansas City, a commercial vehicle DUI results in severe penalties. A first offense includes a 90-day non-commercial license suspension and a one-year CDL suspension, extending to three years if transporting hazardous materials, along with possible jail time and fines. A second offense leads to permanent CDL revocation, up to one year in jail, and higher fines. Refusal to take a breathalyzer test results in a three-year CDL suspension. These penalties can have a significant impact on your CDL and career.
In Missouri, the BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%, which is lower than the 0.08% limit for non-commercial drivers. This stricter limit reflects the higher safety standards required for operating commercial vehicles. Exceeding this limit can result in serious legal consequences, including DUI charges and CDL suspension.
Yes, in Missouri, you can lose your CDL for a DUI even if you were driving a non-commercial vehicle at the time. A DUI conviction in any vehicle can result in a one-year suspension of your CDL for the first offense. Repeated offenses can lead to permanent revocation of your CDL, affecting your livelihood as a commercial driver. We aim to minimize the impact on your CDL and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us to discuss your defense options.

Additional Information in Kansas, Missouri

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - Impaired Driving: Comprehensive information on impaired driving laws and regulations across all states. It details the legal basis for DUI offenses, breath test requirements, penalties, and specific rules for commercial drivers. This site can help in a commercial vehicle DUI defense case by offering insights into state-specific laws, potential defenses, and understanding administrative actions like license suspensions.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration - Commercial Driver's License Program: Essential information on the requirements for obtaining and maintaining a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). It covers the necessary knowledge and skills tests, endorsements needed for specific vehicle types, and the higher standards CDL holders must meet. The site also explains the consequences of serious traffic violations and the legal framework governing CDLs. For a commercial vehicle DUI defense case, this information is crucial to understand the legal requirements, potential violations, and their impact on CDL status.
Governors Highway Safety Association - Alcohol Impaired Driving: Comprehensive overview of state laws on alcohol-impaired driving, including specific BAC limits, penalties, and administrative actions like license suspensions. It details variations in state laws, ignition interlock requirements, and open container regulations. For a commercial vehicle DUI defense case, this site helps by offering a comparative analysis of state laws, understanding administrative penalties, and identifying specific legal provisions that may apply to the case.
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