It is tough to face charges of driving under the influence. However, when you make your living behind the wheel, the consequences may seem dire. This is true even if your DUI charge involves your own private vehicle on your own time.
Complications can arise quickly when you drive between states, due to differing legal limits and varying penalties. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, you may have questions.
What are the penalties?
A DUI conviction can cause you to lose your commercial driver’s license for a year, even if this is your first offense. Upon a second conviction, you may lose your CDL for life. The new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse site sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration makes it easy for potential employers to find out about past alcohol-related violations. If your job entails crossing the border, a DUI can make things extremely difficult. Canada typically refuses entry to people with a DUI conviction. This is true even if you do not intend to drive while in Canada.
What are your rights?
Both North Dakota and Minnesota have implied consent laws, so refusing a DUI test may result in more trouble than failing it. That does not mean that tests are irrefutable; you have the right to challenge them. Officers sometimes administer field sobriety tests incorrectly. You may have a medical condition, even a temporary one like vertigo, that causes symptoms similar to impairment. Chemical testing devices sometimes malfunction and software issues may invalidate results. In any case, it is your right to have someone investigate the case.
What should you do?
Above all, do not give up hope. The situation may look bleak, but a DUI arrest does not have to lead to a DUI conviction. You have the right to legal representation. You have the right to a hearing, and even a jury trial if necessary. Gather all the facts, then get a strong advocate in your corner. You may be able to bring your case to a timely and satisfying resolution.