Court: Iowa truckers over limit won’t get a break


April 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Unlike ordinary drivers, the Iowa Supreme Court says licensed truckers will not be given a break if they’re caught driving with a blood-alcohol concentration barely over the legal limit.  The court ruled Friday that the Department of Transportation can suspend commercial drivers’ licenses without considering the margin of error of breath tests.

Justices ruled against Brandon Watson, who lost his license for one year after police said he had a .041 blood-alcohol concentration during a traffic stop. The limit for truckers is .04.   Watson argued the DOT should have subtracted the test’s margin of error of .004, which means he would have been below the limit. That’s what DOT does for non-commercial drivers.

The high court ruled that state lawmakers have chosen to hold commercial drivers to a higher standard.