Heavy vehicles have the potential to cause deadly crashes, especially if a driver is impaired. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) holds commercial drivers to a higher standard—and a lower permissible blood alcohol content—in drunk driving cases.

Ohio DUI Laws for Drivers of Commercial Vehicles

Commerical Bus Traveling on the HighwayUnlike non-commercial drivers, holders of a commercial driver's license (CDL) can be considered over the limit for a BAC of just 0.04%. Since the penalty for conviction is a year's suspension of your CDL, it is vital that you contact a lawyer if you were arrested for DUI when driving a truck, bus, or other commercial vehicle.

An experienced DUI defense attorney can determine:

  • Which BAC standard applies. You should only be held to the commercial DUI standard when you are actively working or driving your commercial vehicle. If you were pulled over in your personal vehicle outside of company time, the normal 0.08% BAC standard should apply.
  • Whether your BAC test was valid. We always advise drivers to politely refuse to give physical evidence, including breathalyzers and urine samples, when stopped by police. However, if you did provide a sample, we can investigate when it was taken, how it was administered, and whether your rights were violated during the collection. If all proper procedures were not followed, the results of the test may be inadmissible as evidence.
  • How quickly you could get back to work. Under Ohio law, your CDL will be subject to administrative suspension for 90 days if you are over the BAC limit. However, you could appeal the suspension by filing for an administrative hearing. We can meet this tight deadline and fight for your right to work while your case is pending.

Are you or someone you know facing DUI / OVI charges? 

If you are facing DUI charges, you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams is recognized by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and is one of U.S. News' Best Law Firms.  Please contact us online or call our Cincinnati office directly at 513-929-9333 to schedule your free consultation. 


Tad Brittingham
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Criminal defense attorney Tad Brittingham is dedicated to serving his clients throughout the Cincinnati area