Trucking is a major industry in Alaska and a crucial part of the state’s economic infrastructure. Truck-driving jobs are in high demand in Alaska and pay well. To drive a semitruck, you first must earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) by training with an experienced driver and then passing a test. But if you’re convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs (DUI), your CDL could be at risk.
Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act
All truck drivers in the United States are subject to the federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA), legislation designed to increase highway safety. Whether driving a commercial or non-commercial vehicle, the MCSIA list a number major traffic offenses that can jeopardize your CDL. After your first major offense, you will receive a one-year CDL suspension. A second major offense disqualifies you from holding a CDL for life.
Major traffic offenses include:
- Refusing to submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test
- Hit and run
- Motor-vehicle felony
- Driving with a revoked, suspended, cancelled or disqualified license
- Causing a fatality in a CMV through negligence.
Lower BAC for commercial vehicles
While the legal BAC limit for most drivers in Alaska is .08 percent, drivers who are operating commercial vehicles may not drive if their BAC is above .04 percent. Also, by operating a commercial vehicle of any kind, it is implied that you give your consent to alcohol testing.
If found to be driving a commercial vehicle with a restricted BAC or refuse to submit to testing, you will lose your CDL for at least one year.
If you are a truck driver facing DUI charges, you may want to enlist the help of an attorney. Your CDL, your career and your livelihood may be at stake. A lawyer can help you fight the charges or identify the best path forward.