Commercial Vehicles and DUI in South Carolina
Drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles can be punished for operating a commercial motor vehicle under the influence. A commercial motor vehicle is defined as a vehicle that is used to transport passengers or property if the vehicle:
- has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds
- designed to transport sixteen or more persons (including the driver)
- transporting hazardous materials
A person who drives a commercial vehicle within the State is considered to have given consent to take a test of the person’s blood, breath or urine to determine their alcohol concentration or the presence of other drugs. The test will be administered at the direction of the arresting officer that has probable cause to believe the driver was driving a commercial motor vehicle while having a measurable amount of alcohol in his system. A refusal to submit to a test to determine alcohol content will result in the driver being disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle at least for one year.
Driving under the influence of an intoxicant while operating a commercial motor vehicle is a separate charge than operating a vehicle under an intoxicant. In addition to a DUI charge, the driver will also have a driving under the influence of an intoxicant while operating a commercial motor vehicle. A commercial driver will be charged with this offense if they have an alcohol concentration of .04 per cent or more.
South Carolina has adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules regarding commercial driver’s license. Under the FMCSA, the commercial driver’s employer must perform random testing for drugs and alcohol. A commercial driver’s license may also be suspended if they are convicted for a operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant for a non-commercial sate vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations also require random drug tests for commercial drivers to test for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and phencyclidine.
If you have any questions about speeding tickets, please ask them at our legal help forum.