If you ask us — as experienced New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers — anyone who drives a motor vehicle for a living is well advised to play it very safe and avoid any situations where he or she might end up operating a private car or commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The stakes are too high to run the risk of losing one’s license, even for a short period. Why take the chance, we would ask, but human nature is difficult to overcome at times.
Here in the Garden State, the local and state police are always on the lookout for drivers who may be operating their vehicles while impaired. And, although an officer is prohibited by law from pulling a motorist over simply on a hunch that he or she may be drunk or impaired by prescription or illicit drugs, that doesn’t mean that the officer might not wait until the driver executes an illegal turn, runs a stop sign or commits any one of dozens of seemingly minor traffic offenses.
Anyone charged with drunk driving here in Jersey will likely face strict penalties and the loss of a driver’s license should he or she be convicted of that DWI or drug DUI offense. But when it comes to professional drivers here in the Garden State, we can also tell you that these individuals face a more chilling fate: the potential loss their very livelihood, not to mention already harsh monetary and other penalties.
For long-haul truckers, taxi and limo drivers, and delivery drivers, their commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a most precious item. It represents not only their identity as a licensed and certified professional in their trade, but also it is the key to their very success in life. To lose a CDL, for most commercial drivers, would be a financial blow from which many may not easily recover. As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, I and my staff of skilled attorneys understand the tenuous position that a professional trucker, cabbie or delivery driver finds himself in following a drunk driving arrest.
A drunk driving charge is serious enough, but if it is related to an individual’s CDL, he or she may be facing significant penalties as well as a host of other related issues. When we take on drunken driving or drug DUI cases involving a professional driver, we endeavor to keep that DWI or DUI charge on your general driver’s license rather than let it touch your CDL. By using this tact, it may be possible to eliminate some serious consequences.
We understand what’s at stake for a professional driver facing the loss of his or her CDL. Not long ago we read of a cab driver who may have taken his own life following a drunk driving-related traffic accident in Middletown Twp. According to news reports, three people were injured in the two-car crash that police say was caused by an intoxicated taxicab driver who allegedly ran a red light on a Tuesday evening in April.
Based on police reports, the 39-year-old cabbie was carrying a fare and heading eastbound on Newman Springs Rd. at about 8:30pm when his taxi cab reportedly went through a red traffic signal at Half Mile Rd. and struck a second vehicle driven by a 55-year-old Howell man. Both the cabbie and the other driver, as well as the 30-year-old female passenger riding in the rear of the taxi, were transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune with injuries. The taxi cab driver was charged by police with DWI, failure to observe a traffic signal, careless and reckless driving, as well as assault by auto.
Less than a week later, police were called to the taxi driver’s apartment by the man’s landlord who reportedly had found him dead the Monday after the accident. Authorities said that there were no signs of foul play, nor “obvious signs” of suicide.
CAB DRIVER IN RECENT CRASH FOUND DEAD, RedbankGreen.com, April 30, 2013
DWI, ASSAULT CHARGES FOR CABBIE IN CRASH; RedbankGreen.com; April 23, 2013
Taxicab driver charged with DWI in Middletown crash, NJ.com, April 24, 2013