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Legal blood-alcohol content lower for commercial vehicle drivers

In New York, it is common knowledge that the legal blood-alcohol content limit is 0.08 percent. If you are pulled over and a breath test shows that your BAC is above that number, you could be facing drunk driving charges. Did you know, however, that there are different rules for certain drivers? 

Take, for example, commercial drivers. According to New York law, commercial drivers have a legal blood-alcohol content limit of 0.04, not 0.08. Additionally, a commercial driver could be facing felony charges if he or she has a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.18 percent. If a driver was unaware of this, he or she could end up in serious trouble. 

In fact, this may have been what happened recently when a New York driver was pulled over for drunk driving. The driver was parked at a supermarket in upstate New York when someone alerted police that the driver appeared to be intoxicated. Police reported to the scene and arrested the truck driver after he blew a blood-alcohol reading of 0.19 percent.

Because commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04, the driver was deemed to be five times over the legal limit. He was charged with aggravated felony driving while intoxicated.

Facing a felony drunk driving charge is no laughing matter, especially for a commercial driver. If this man were to lose his license, he would undoubtedly be out of a job. Additionally, he could face other penalties like fines or jail time. Fortunately, everyone accused of a crime is afforded the right to challenge the charges against them.

Source: Claims Journal, "New York Cops Say Beverage Truck Driver Was Driving Drunk," Oct. 22, 2013

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