CDL License Impact

A DUI can have a serious impact on any driver, but this might especially be the case for a commercial driver's license (CDL) holder. A CDL holder oftentimes relies on their license to be able to work. A DUI charge or conviction could mean the suspension or revocation of this license and the subsequent loss of a job, in addition to other penalties.


Drivers that hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are held to a higher standard than those with regular driver’s licenses. This is because driving is considered a privilege, not a right, and there is a higher degree of care required of those with CDLs. This is due to the nature of CDLs and the large machines they operate, and the hazardous materials they are authorized to transport. A Windsor DUI can have a significant impact on your ability to drive, whether you were operating a commercial motor vehicle or a personal vehicle. Learn more about what to do in this situation on this page.

DUI Impact on a CDL

Following a DUI conviction, a refusal, or failure of a blood alcohol content (BAC) test, a commercial driver’s license will be disqualified for one year. If the driver was on the job at the time of the arrest, their license will be suspended for three years. Regardless of defenses by way of criminal court, one of the three things mentioned above triggers this automatic suspension. Further, when the person is operating under their CDL, the BAC level is .04%, as opposed to .08% for regular drivers.

Once the period lapses, the CDL may be reinstated, but after one DUI, the punishments because extremely severe. Any subsequent DUI will result in loss of commercial driver’s license for life. This ban in perpetuity can be challenged after 10 years have lapsed. To challenge this, it must be shown that the person has voluntarily taken part in a substance abuse program, and there is good cause for reinstatement. CDLs may be suspended even if the DUI occurs in a different state.

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Not only are CDL drivers subject to state law, but also federal law and regulation. The agency that oversees this is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations impose a flat .04% in any situation and find that refusal of a BAC automatically means inebriation may be found.

Getting Help

Obtaining a CDL is time-consuming and costly, and is often done for employment purposes. This makes for a heightened potential for a penalty for these drivers. This is due to the same rationale that states have, that a commercial driver’s license is a privilege and could potentially be quite dangerous, even when compared to regular driving under the influence. If you are in the position of having a commercial driver’s license and DUI, it is important that you have a good lawyer on your side. To contact a Windsor DUI defense attorney for help, please contact Lady DUI today. Our lawyers have worked with CDL drivers before and can help you through this charge.

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