Beware! your CDL could be in jeopardy even when not driving your truck

There are clear cut rules enumerated in Title 23 of the Vermont Statutes that state that operators of trucks requiring a Vermont Commercial Driver’s License may not operate them with a Blood Alcohol Contents of .04 or more.  However, there is also a blanket “influence” provision in the Statute, stating that if the driver of a truck in Vermont is “under the influence” they can still be charged with DUI even if their BAC is below .04.

“Under the influence” is a term used to define impairment “to the slightest degree”.  Which means that if the State can show any form of impairment they have met their evidentiary threshold to secure a conviction on a DUI.

This impairment threshold does not just apply to just CDL DUIs but also those for motorist driving private vehicles.  And, although the holder of a CDL may be driving their own vehicle, not their truck, they can still face serious penalties that will reach not only their regular driver’s license, but their CDL as well.

Beyond a DUI itself, other “major traffic infractions” such a Careless and Negligent Operation Conviction or an Excessive Speed Conviction can, when added together result in suspension of a Vermont CDL, even, like in the DUI, these convictions do not have anything to do with the operator driving their commercial vehicle.

As a result, it is important when facing such charges, to try and mitigate or eliminate the overall exposure that these Vermont traffic infractions may bring.  If ignored, these tickets can lead to serious long term consequences well beyond what many may have contemplated when they took a plea.

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