The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) can be harsh for any driver in Colorado and may include fines, license suspension, jail time, and more. However, the penalties for DUI or DWAI become much more severe if you are driving a commercial vehicle. Convictions for these offenses may threaten a commercial driver’s very ability to earn a living at his chosen profession, so if you are a commercial driver, you never want to risk an alcohol or drug-related driving conviction on your permanent record. Even if you have been arrested, there are several ways a Colorado defense attorney can help keep a conviction off of your record.
Alcohol, Drugs, and Truckers
Commercial truck drivers are trusted to operate large vehicles that may weigh up to 80,000 pounds alongside much smaller passenger vehicles. If a truck driver loses control or makes a mistake behind the wheel, devastating accidents and injuries may result involving other motorists. Despite these important facts, alcohol and drugs play a significant role in commercial trucking culture.
Studies in recent years have revealed that truck drivers in many developed countries, including the United States, regularly drink or use illegal substances while on the road or prior to shifts. The most common substances used include:
- Cocaine; and
All of these substances have the potential to affect a driver’s abilities and may therefore result in a DUI or DWAI charge.
Truck drivers claim to use stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine to stay awake longer and be able to complete longer driving shifts. However, these drugs tend to only give the feeling of alertness and the potential for falling asleep or losing focus still exists, as well as additional judgment and perception impairments, hallucinations, agitation, and more.
Additionally, truck drivers have stated they use marijuana or alcohol to help deal with the long, monotonous hours by themselves on the road, which often results in boredom, loneliness, or even depression. Marijuana and alcohol both increase sleepiness and can impair judgment and driving ability.
Truck drivers are held to higher standards than regular drivers for blood alcohol content (BAC), as the legal limit for commercial truck drivers is 0.04 percent as opposed to 0.08 percent for non-commercial drivers. Additionally, the suspension and revocations for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may be more severe and may cause a driver to completely lose his ability to perform his job, which can result in unemployment and other financial issues. Despite these serious consequences, some truck drivers continue to drive under the influence.
Contact an Experienced Colorado DUI and DWAI Defense Attorney for Help Today
If you have been arrested for or charged with DUI or DWAI in Colorado, your first step should always be to contact an experienced Denver defense lawyer at the Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible. No matter whether you are a commercial truck driver or what the other circumstances of your case may be, we understand how to skillfully and aggressively build a defense in your case. Call our office today at (303) DUI- 5280 today to discuss your case.