DUI And Commercial Drivers License (CDL)

DUI And Commercial Drivers License (CDL)

DUI While Driving A Private Vehicle, Off-Work

If you have a commercial driver's license (CDL) when you are arrested for drunk driving in your personal vehicle, your driver's license and your CDL will most likely be immediately suspended regardless of whether it is your first offense or not.

You may be able to obtain a temporary authorization for driving your personal vehicle, but not a temporary permit for a commercial vehicle license. Obviously, a DUI can have a big impact on your ability to work if your drive a vehicle for a living, and even more so if you have a CDL for driving a commercial vehicle.

If you refuse sobriety testing during a DUI investigation, you automatically forfeit your driver's license and your CDL license for one year in most states. If you are convinced of a second DUI, you will no longer be able to obtain a CDL license.

In many cases you are able to get your CDL reinstated within a few months following a DUI conviction in your personal vehicle.
There are a number of legal issues that should be reviewed immediately after a DUI arrest if you have a CDL — factors such as whether or not you refused a breath test, what tests were used, what the results were, etc. Regardless of where you are arrested, the DUI driving liability will be reported to the state that issued your CDL. You may be able to obtain a temporary permit to drive your personal vehicle, but not a "temporary" CDL. Seek legal advice to determine if there are options for protecting your CDL in your home state.

In most states, you are entitled to an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days of your arrest. The hearing will determine whether or not your driver's license and CDL should continue to be suspended. This hearing process is separate from your DUI criminal driving liability hearing. At the ALR, the arresting officer is questioned under oath and a defense attorney may raise legal questions and issues related to the procedures followed, and bring into question whether or not the DUI can be proven in the criminal court.

DUI While Driving A Commercial Vehicle

If you are driving a commercial vehicle when arrested, your CDL license is immediately suspended and you may be able to quickly obtain a temporary driving permit only for use of a personal vehicle.

One important factor is that the legal blood-alcohol level for a CDL is usually lower than the level for private vehicles, 0.04% instead of 0.08%. In most states there is an automatic a one-year suspension of your CDL if you refuse a blood-alcohol test. The outcome of your criminal DUI case may also determine the future of your CDL.

DUI in General

There is a lot at stake in any DUI, whether driving a personal or commercial vehicle. If you are a repeat DUI offender, you could lose your CDL for life upon conviction. There may be factors that will allow your attorney to protect both your personal driving privileges and your CDL, and are dependent on whether or not you receive prompt legal assistance. Be prepared to pay for those services.


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