Georgia CDL DUI Consequences Explained

dui cdl consequences georgia schiavone

Forsyth County Police arrested a bus driver last month for driving a school bus while intoxicated and endangering children. The driver was arrested after the bus she was driving ran into another vehicle at an intersection. No one was injured in the incident.

Police say the bus driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) registered above .20 percent. The legal limit for a non-commercial driver is .08 percent. Commercial drivers can be arrested for a mere .04 percent BAC. This bus driver was also charged with 30 counts of child endangerment and was immediately fired by the school district.

While the criminal penalties for a DUI are the same for Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL), there is one major difference. While every driver does face administrative license suspension for one year, some drivers are eligible for a limited permit if they take a state chemical test of their breath.   For example, to and from work or school, during specific hours. But, in Georgia, commercial driving privileges are completely suspended, even if the driver is given a special limited permit for personal driving. This suspension is tough for many commercial drivers who need the CDL to work.

While school districts may be strict in their driver hiring practices, the state of Georgia does not have strong legal requirements to obtain the special school bus certification. They require drivers to pass a test and demonstrate the ability to drive a bus. But, minor traffic violations such as speeding, failure to stop at a stop sign, and failure to use proper bus signals, can mean bigger penalties for the driver.

In the Forsyth County case, police charged the bus driver a litany of child endangerment charges. That is because the bus was full of children when the accident occurred. Each of these concurrent charges comes with its own penalties. If convicted of more than two of the child endangerment counts, the driver will also get a Habitual Violator Revocation. This means the courts can revoke the bus driver’s personal driver’s license for five years.

If you have a CDL and are facing DUI charges, Schiavone Law can help you navigate this confusing system and get you driving again as soon as possible.