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CDL License Impact

Commercial driver's license (CDL) holders are held to higher standards than your average driver on New Haven roads. This is because these vehicles tend to be large and carry precious cargo. As a result, a DUI charge can have a serious impact on a CDL driver. Learn more about the consequences on this page.


DUIs have a profound impact on a person’s life and typical way of doing things. This is especially true for those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) because a CDL suspension could take place. This is because, more often than not, CDLs are obtained for employment purposes. CDLs are required for moving large vehicles and hazardous materials, and similar to a general license being viewed as a privilege, CDLs are especially considered so.

The DMV and the state feel that CDL drivers should have a heightened level of awareness because of the added responsibility that driving a commercial vehicle entails. Failure to take this seriously could result in accidents and harm other people. You can learn more about the consequences of a New Haven DUI on a commercial driver’s license holder here.

Loss of License Due to CDL Suspension

Upon conviction of a DUI, refusal, or failure of a blood alcohol content (BAC), a CDL driver will have a CDL suspension for a year, as in addition to the rest of the penalties faced by a regular licensed driver.

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This is because an automatic suspension occurs when (1) A person refuses to take a BAC test under any circumstances and regardless of whether the CDL driver was utilizing their CDL license at the time of the BAC test, (2) A person fails a BAC test, which would be a BAC of .04% or higher while driving a commercial vehicle, or a .08% or higher while driving any vehicle, (3) A person is convicted for a New Haven DUI resulting from driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. DUIs, refusals, or failures in other states count in Connecticut as well.

Once this CDL suspension period ends, the CDL will be reinstated. However, a second or subsequent DUI will result in a loss of CDL privileges for life. This disqualification may be reversed after ten years, with proof of voluntary participation in a substance abuse program and good cause.

Further, CDL drivers are not only subject to state law but also federal oversight, by way of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which sets rules and regulations for those that operate CDLs on interstate roads. Among these rules are a permanent .04% BAC limit, as well as an assumption of failure with a BAC refusal.

Getting Help

Based on the severe consequences, given the nature of CDLs, as well as the long-lasting punitive nature of DUIs and the related consequences, it is imperative that one have adequate representation. To speak with a DUI defense lawyer, contact Lady DUI today.

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