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Commercial Drivers and DUI in Indiana

Just as Indiana law prohibits the operation of motor vehicle by non-commercial drivers under the influence of alcohol, commercial drivers are likewise forbidden to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Similar to its caution concerning underage intoxicated drivers, the Indiana legislature has criminalized a level of blood alcohol concentration that is legal for adult, non-commercial drivers.  Commercial drivers, with a blood alcohol level of at least 0.04 grams but not more than 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath are guilty of a Class C infraction. Thus, the legal BAC limit for commercial drivers is reduced from 0.08 to 0.04.

The major difference in the application of Indiana’s DUI laws between commercial and non-commercial drivers is the state’s ability to issue a provisional license to the defendant while his DUI case is pending. While non-commercial drivers are usually eligible for a provisional license, under federal law a commercial driver that has had his license confiscated pending the resolution of a DUI case may not be issued a provisional license. Section 202(d) of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, states may not issue a provisional license to a commercial driver during a period in which the driver has become disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle or has had his/her license revoked, suspended or canceled.  If a state does not comply with the requirements of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act, such state risks losing its authorization from the Secretary of Transportation to issue commercial drivers licenses. Indiana state law provides that operating a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances is a disqualifying offense.

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