DUI Commercial Drivers

Commercial Drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to Driving Under the Influence, “DUI” in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Nevada Revised Statute “NRS” 484C.120 Section 6 (A) defines a commercial vehicle as, “a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:  (1) 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  (2) Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds;  (3) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or (4) Regardless of size, is used in the transportation of materials which are considered to be hazardous…”

The legal limit for blood alcohol content “BAC” in Nevada is .08 for non-commercial drivers, but for commercial drivers the legal limit is lowered to .04 BAC.  The prosecution has three theories that they can use to prosecute an individual for a DUI with a Commercial Vehicle.  First, is the “per se” theory, if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving and/or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and a blood or breath test was taken within two hours of you driving, and your BAC was .04 or above, you are “per se” under the influence.  The second theory is .04 BAC or above “at the time of driving”, if the prosecutor can prove your BAC was .04 or above at the time you were actually driving the vehicle you would be deemed under the influence.  Lastly, the “impaired driving theory”, here prosecutors are not required to present any evidence of your BAC or drug toxicity levels.  For example, if Kenny causes an accident in his commercial vehicle, the police arrive, and he smells of alcohol, fails all his field sobriety tests, and admits to drinking, the prosecution could argue that regardless of what his BAC was, he was under the influence of alcohol “to any degree, however slight” which rendered him incapable of safely driving, and therefore deemed under the influence.

The consequences of a conviction as a DUI Commercial Drivers are severe. A first time conviction requires a one year suspension of your commercial driver’s license. If convicted a second time your commercial driver’s license would be suspended for life.

Unfortunately, DUI’s are very common in the Las Vegas Valley, and all local police agencies are instructed to make an arrest if they have reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, while driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a public roadway.  Once arrested, the Police Officer or Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper will take you to jail, where they will force you to submit to a breath or blood test, which will be used as evidence against you in your criminal case and DMV Administrative Hearing.

DUI offenses are vigorously prosecuted and a conviction can have dire consequences. A Driving Under the Influence Offense is the only crime on the books in Las Vegas, Nevada, where a prosecutor must have “legal cause or reason” to negotiate a DUI charge down to anything less than a DUI, such as a Reckless Driving.  Meaning, a prosecutor can’t, and won’t, offer to drop your case, just because this was your first time, or you are a good person.  That among many other reasons is why it is vital to hire Las Vegas DUI Defense Attorney Michael A. Troiano.  With his extensive knowledge and experience in DUI Defense on your side, he will discuss all defenses available for your specific case and keep you well informed of the entire process of your DUI with a Commercial Vehicle criminal case in addition to the DMV Administrative Hearing and your driver’s license privileges.

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