Commercial Driver’s License and DUI

The penalties for driving under the influence or any motor vehicle violation can be compounded if you are a commercial driver's license (CDL) holder. You want to protect your license at all costs because it oftentimes is linked to your livelihood. Learn more about CDL and DUI issues on this page.


A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a special license that is earned through an application as well as a general knowledge test. The applicant must submit numerous documents and pass the test that is specialized to the type of motor vehicle that the applicant intends on using. CDLs are necessary for drivers who transport hazardous materials, large transport trucks, buses, and other specialized vehicles that are deemed to be riskier on the roads. Because CDLs are a specialized license, those drivers that hold one, rather than a regular driver’s license, are held to a higher standard. You can learn more about CDLs here.

Issues With Commercial Driver’s Licenses

The DMV handles testing, applications, issuing, and disqualifying CDLs in Connecticut. CDL disqualification can occur for a variety of reasons, including driving violations and more serious charges like driving under the influence (DUI) and reckless driving. A CDL driver will face the usual consequences under criminal law as well as consequences with the DMV. A commercial driver’s license disqualification can result from one of the following convictions:

  • Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Evading responsibility.
  • Committing a felony while using a commercial vehicle.
  • Refusing to consent to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test after a request from a police officer.
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident.
  • Driving under the influence, which is a BAC of .04% or higher.
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without a valid commercial driver’s license.

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Additionally, driving a commercial vehicle that is transporting hazardous materials and facing one of the above issues can result in a disqualification of at least three years. Driving a commercial vehicle during the commission of a felony involving drugs will result in a lifetime disqualification. A 60-day license suspension will result from two or more serious traffic violations in Connecticut or another state. Some of these serious traffic violations include:

  • Speeding 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
  • Recklessly driving.
  • Following another vehicle too closely.
  • Driving erratically by changing lanes improperly.
  • Texting while operating a commercial vehicle.
  • Failing to stop for a school bus.
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL.
  • Driving a commercial vehicle during an accident that resulted in a fatality.

CDL Disqualification

Any of the above serious traffic violations could result in a 120-day CDL disqualification. After any disqualification, the license holder has the opportunity to appeal the suspension. This is called a CDL restoration hearing. After receiving the suspension notice, the driver can follow the instructions on requesting the hearing within seven days after the notice is issued. This hearing is administrative and is handled much differently than a criminal court hearing. The hearing is an opportunity to challenge the reason for the suspension and give the driver the opportunity to provide testimony and other evidence in support of challenging the suspension.

If you believe that your CDL is in jeopardy or you have had your CDL suspended, you will need an attorney that has worked with CDLs and the laws and procedures that must be followed to challenge the suspension. Call Lady DUI today to get assistance with your CDL.

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