Atlanta Commercial DUI Lawyer
As a truck or bus driver in the state of Georgia, you rely on your commercial driver’s license (CDL) to keep a roof over your head. So, if you are pulled over and arrested for a commercial DUI, you will almost certainly be worried about losing your CDL and negatively impacting your financial future.
Fortunately, you don’t need to go through the legal process alone. Help is available. The skilled DUI lawyers in Atlanta at Yeargan & Kert, LLC, in Atlanta are always ready to help you fight back against your DUI charge and try to protect your CDL.
Why You Should Hire a Yeargan & Kert, LLC, Attorney to Help You with Your Commercial DUI
At Yeargan & Kert, LLC, we believe that commercial drivers who are accused of drunk driving deserve a staunch legal defense. As such, when you come to us for assistance with your commercial DUI, we will:
Walk You Through Your Options
In the days and weeks after you are arrested for drunk driving, you will most likely be in a state of shock. As a consequence, you may not know what steps you can take to address your situation.
Fortunately, when you work with the Yeargan & Kert, LLC, team, we will be on-hand to walk you through your legal options after your DUI arrest. We will provide you with a full breakdown of all the actions you can take to fight back against your charge, and provide you with our expert opinion of each option’s likelihood of success.
Devise an Effective Defense Strategy
Without a doubt, one of the best ways to prevent a DUI charge from becoming a DUI conviction is with the assistance of an effective defense strategy. But which strategy is the right one to use in your case?
The attorneys here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC, have been defending Atlanta residents against DUI charges for years. During that time, we have seen and used just about every defense strategy in the book. When you hire us, we will analyze the details of your situation and devise a strategy that is tailor-made for your case.
Represent You in Court
Some commercial DUI cases are resolved without going to trial, usually through the plea bargaining process. However, if your case ends up going to court, you can count on your Yeargan & Kert, LLC, to be by your side every step of the way.
Our attorneys have represented countless DUI defendants in courtrooms throughout the state of Georgia. As such, we understand how to argue a case in a way that will truly resonate with the judge and jury. With our team on your side, you can be confident that you will be well-represented at trial.
Are you ready to start fighting back against your Georgia commercial DUI charge? If so, please contact the Yeargan & Kert, LLC, legal team as soon as possible. We would be more than happy to help you with your case.
Understanding Georgia’s Commercial DUI Law
According to section 40-6-391 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, any driver who operates a vehicle on a public road or highway in the Peach State with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher may be arrested and charged with a DUI.
For drivers who operate a commercial vehicle, the legal limit is significantly lower. Per Georgia law and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, an individual who is operating a commercial vehicle may be arrested for DUI if they have a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher.
State and federal regulators use a lower legal limit for people who drive a commercial vehicle because they understand that if such a driver gets into an accident, the consequences could be catastrophic.
If an intoxicated bus driver gets into a crash, dozens of passengers may be injured or killed. Similarly, if an inebriated truck driver gets into an accident, they are likely to kill other road users. If their cargo is flammable, they could even cause an explosion.
How Do Georgia Law Enforcement Officers Check a Driver’s BAC?
Law enforcement officials in Georgia have a variety of tools at their disposal to determine whether or not a driver is intoxicated. When they pull a suspected drunk driver over, most officers begin the investigation process by visually examining the driver’s behavior. If they are slurring their words or are having trouble keeping their eyes open, the officer is likely to move on to the next stage of their investigation.
In most instances, a breathalyzer is the next tool that a law enforcement official will use to determine drunkenness. This test can be performed at the side of the road in a matter of seconds. If the results of the breathalyzer test show that the driver’s BAC is over or near the legal limit, the officer will almost certainly ask them to submit to a blood test.
In the state of Georgia, blood tests must be carried out at licensed medical centers. If the driver agrees to have their blood tested, the officer will transport them to such a location. An on-site medical professional will then draw blood from the suspect and put it through a gas chromatography test.
While breathalyzer tests can return results to the officer almost immediately, it usually takes a few weeks for the results of a blood test to come in.
Can Commercial Drivers Refuse to Submit to a Chemical Test?
Commercial drivers in the state of Georgia can decline to take a blood or breath test if they so choose. However, because of Georgia’s implied consent laws, anyone who refuses to submit to a chemical test is subject to an automatic license suspension of one year. For commercial drivers, that means having to give up their CDL and their regular driver’s license.
At Yeargan & Kert, LLC, we pride ourselves on being well versed in all aspects of Georgia DUI law. If you need a DUI lawyer to stand up and defend you against your drunk driving charge, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are always ready, willing, and able to provide our friends and neighbors in Atlanta with actionable legal advice.
Consequences of a Commercial DUI Conviction in Georgia
Truck drivers and other commercial vehicle operators who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Georgia can face some fairly severe penalties. The exact nature of their punishment is almost entirely dependant on whether or not they have committed another DUI in the past:
Penalties for a First Commercial DUI Conviction
Commercial drivers who have been found guilty of DUI for the first time can face the following punishments:
- Commercial driver’s license (CDL) suspension of at least 1 year
- Between 10 days and 12 months of jail time
- A fine of $300 to $1,000
- At least 20 hours of community service
- Mandatory clinical evaluation
Penalties for a Second Commercial DUI Conviction
Those who are found guilty of driving under the influence for a second time are subject to the following punishments:
- Lifetime commercial driver’s license (CDL) suspension
- Between 90 days and 12 months of jail time
- A fine of $600 to $1,000
- At least 30 days of community service
- Mandatory clinical evaluation
- Mandatory enrollment in a DUI risk-reduction program
- Forfeiture of all license plates
At Yeargan & Kert, LLC, we understand that Atlanta bus and truck drivers need their commercial licenses to earn a living. That is why we fight so hard to help them try to avoid being convicted of DUI and facing the penalties outlined above. To have us represent you during your commercial DUI case, just give us a call and arrange an initial consultation with a member of our team.
How to Get a CDL Reinstated After a Commercial DUI in Georgia
Most individuals who have their commercial driver’s license (CDL) suspended for driving under the influence (DUI) are anxious to get back on the road as quickly as possible. Before they can do so, however, they are generally required to complete the following steps:
- Wait out the license suspension period
- Formally reapply for a new CDL
- Retake their licensing tests
- Complete a DUI risk-reduction course
- Pay all outstanding fines
- Pay the reinstatement fee ($200 if paying by mail or $210 if paying in person)
Once all of these steps have been completed, most people receive their reinstated CDL in approximately 6-8 weeks.
Of course, the DUI attorneys here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC, understand that the reinstatement process doesn’t always run smoothly. If you are having trouble getting your license back after a DUI conviction, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We would be happy to help you try to resolve the issue.
Charged with a Commercial DUI? Contact Yeargan & Kert, LLC, Today
The people of Atlanta know that when they need an experienced attorney to help them fight back against their commercial DUI charge, there is only one law firm they need to turn to – Yeargan & Kert, LLC. Our legal team has the knowledge and skill to handle just about any case. If you would like us to represent you, just give us a call and set up a free consultation at our conveniently located law office.