Truck Drivers and Commercial Drivers Charged with DUI

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Truck drivers and other commercial drivers facing DUI charges face significant challenges, as they are held to a higher standard under Tennessee law.  If these individuals are convicted of a DUI, they not only face criminal law consequences but also very likely lose their licenses and, thus, their jobs and source of income.  If you are a truck driver or commercial driver facing a DUI charge, you need to consult with experienced, Nashville-based criminal defense attorney Philip N. Clark.  He can help you fight these charges.  

DUI Charges for Commercial Drivers in Tennessee

A truck driver or other commercial drivers may be transporting a large number of individual passengers in a very large vehicle.  They also may be transporting hazardous materials in their truck or other large vehicle. 

The key point is that the DUI for operating a commercial vehicle is much more onerous than a typical DUI case. A typical DUI case requires that a person have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08%. But, a DUI while operating a commercial vehicle requires only a BAC of 0.04%.Tennessee law provides:

It is unlawful for any person to drive or to be in physical control of any automobile or other motor driven vehicle on any of the public roads and highways of the state, or on any streets or alleys, or while on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park, or apartment house complex, or any other premises that is generally frequented by the public at large, while (3) With a blood alcohol concentration of four-hundredths of one percent (0.04%) or more and the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle as defined in §55-50-102.

A commercial vehicle in Tennessee is one that either has a gross weight of more than 26,000 pounds, is designed to transport more than fifteen (15) passengers or transports hazardous materials.

Commercial drivers also face significant administrative penalties for a DUI under Tennessee law.  A commercial vehicle operator who is convicted of a DUI shall be suspended for at least a year.  Furthermore, the commercial vehicle operator’s suspension is increased to three years if they are carrying hazardous materials at the time of the DUI.  Even more onerous, a commercial vehicle operator who is convicted of a second-offense DUI while operating a commercial vehicle shall be suspended a minimum of ten years to a maximum life suspension.

Hire an Experienced DUI Lawyer  

Needless to say, the law on DUI for commercial driveres is even more complex than standard DUI law.  The penalties are more extreme and the collateral consequences lare devastating.  That is why if you are facing DUI charges as a commercial driver then you need to enlist the services of a criminal defense attorney well versed in constitutional criminal law principles.

Nashville-based criminal defense Philip Clark is an attorney who understands the nuances of defending against DUI charges facing truck drivers.  He not only has handled many DUI cases, but he also formerly served as a police officer for nearly twenty (20) years.  He knows the ins and outs of the law enforcement community.  He also is a gifted negotiator and communicator who can speak to prosecutors effectively on your behalf.   If need be, he zealously can defend you in court before a judge and jurors.   If you face DUI charges as a truck driver or commercial vehicle operator, contact Philip Clark at (615) 678-1033 or e-mail him at

Connect with Philip N. Clark right away!
(615) 785-2000

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