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Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > DUI > The Consequences of a DUI Arrest for a Georgia School Bus Driver

The Consequences of a DUI Arrest for a Georgia School Bus Driver


Getting arrested and charged with DUI is never a good thing. But if you hold a commercial driver license (CDL), the consequences may include the end of your professional career. Georgia law holds CDL holders to higher standards than other drivers when it comes to drunk or impaired driving, and even an arrest can permanently tar you as someone who is untrustworthy and unreliable.

Recently, law enforcement in Effingham County, Georgia, arrested a 52-year-old female bus driver on suspicion of DUI after she crashed her bus into another vehicle. At the time of the accident, there were 48 students on the bus. According to the local school district, all of the students were immediately evacuated and no serious injuries were reported.

According to Georgia State Patrol officers who attended the scene, the defendant had been following an SUV in front of her too closely before she rear-ended the smaller vehicle. Witnesses also told the media that the defendant was “swerving and slurring her words” at the time. Police charged the defendant with DUI and following too closely. She posted a $1,960 bond and is currently out on bail awaiting trial.

While the criminal case is still pending, the school district reportedly fired the defendant from her job as a school bus driver.

Stricter Standards for CDL Holder in Georgia

Georgia law requires all school bus drivers to hold both a commercial driver license and a special school bus endorsement. Unlike drivers who only operate personal vehicles, a CDL holder is considered under the influence of alcohol–i.e., legally intoxicated–if they operate any commercial motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) or 0.04 percent. This is half the legal limit of 0.08 percent applicable to most other adult drivers in Georgia. And keep in mind, any Georgia driver may still be convicted of DUI regardless of BAC based on other evidence of intoxication or impairment.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services will suspend the CDL of any school bus driver convicted of DUI for at least one year. This also applies to cases where a bus driver refuses to undergo blood alcohol testing following an arrest, or if they cause any fatality through the negligent operation of their bus. A second offense can result in a permanent loss of the driver’s CDL.

And as the case above illustrates, a school district or other employer does not need to wait for the state to act before terminating a driver who is even suspected of drunk driving.

Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers Today

As you can see, a DUI charge can have severe consequences for individuals who make their livelihood driving. That is why you should always work with a Georgia Board-certified DUI lawyer if you are arrested and charged with criminal drunk driving. Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Georgia including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.



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