There are many different reasons why a commercial driver’s license (CDL) could be suspended or revoked. One common reason is receiving a DUI. This happens whether you are operating your personal vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the charge. Once a driver has received a DUI and their license gets revoked, they can’t operate a commercial motor vehicle. Tickets or convictions from out of state also hold reciprocity in the state of Connecticut. They are reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles and then transferred to your Connecticut driver’s license.
If one of these offenses occurs in conjunction with driving a vehicle that is transporting hazardous materials, the minimum disqualification will be for three years. If convicted twice for either driving under the influence or refusal or failure of a BAC test, the result would be a lifetime disqualification of your commercial driver license. A first offense of using a commercial vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance will also result in a lifetime disqualification.
Disqualification will result from a conviction of any one of the following:
- Operation under the influence of alcohol.
- Refusal to take a blood, breath or urine test.
- Failure of a blood, breath or urine test (0.04 or greater).
- Evading the police.
- Use of a commercial vehicle in conjunction with a felony conviction.
If your livelihood depends on your CDL license, you want to avoid a DUI conviction at all costs. If your license is revoked, you will be unable to work for a certain amount of time. Keep in mind that refusing to take a blood, breath, or urine test is not in your best interest, as this will automatically trigger the disqualification of your license.
CDL License Standards
Drivers with commercial driving licenses get held to higher standards on the road than the average driver. This happens because the the size and cargo of trucks can do a lot more damage than a car can. Driving while under the influence can therefore be a major public safety concern. In addition, it can make you a liability to your employer. For these reasons, receiving a DUI if you have a CDL can have serious consequences.
It is important to consider the fact that if you are a truck driver with a commercial driver’s license, you will be subjected to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations concerning drug or alcohol use while driving. These regulations are most restrictive in terms of their blood alcohol concentration limit. Their BAC limit is set at 0.04%, a much smaller amount than what a person without a CDL will face. The toleration for having alcohol in your system as a truck driver with a CDL is lower because of the safety risks involved with driving large trucks carrying potentially dangerous cargo. Furthermore, the FMCSA rules state that if you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test, you will automatically get found guilty of driving under the influence.
The process of getting tried for a DUI if you have a CDL relates to that of the average person’s. You will undergo the same process as a typical driver. However, you will get subjected to the lower alcohol blood level content limit. Also, your license could get suspended for a longer period of time than the period for non-commercial drivers. In addition, the consequences of receiving a DUI as someone who has a CDL can be significant. If your license gets suspended, whether you received your DUI on or off duty, it will greatly affect your job. You will not be able to work and therefore your livelihood will get affected. Furthermore, you could lose your job, and having a DUI on your record will make it difficult for another company to hire you.
The consequences of receiving a DUI as a truck driver with a CDL are severe. You will be subjected to stricter regulations than a non-commercial driver and receiving a DUI will directly affect your ability to work. Refraining from driving under the influence is important if your livelihood depends on driving. If you have further questions, you can contact an attorney for help.