If you have a Commercial Driver’s License or CDL and are charged or convicted with a DUI, you may have a lot of questions about how your status will be affected both legally and professionally. A DUI can have a big impact on your ability to work.
The CDL law varies from state to state. It may be possible for you to get a CDL if you have a DUIconviction, but it will probably have to be at least 3 years old for you to successfully obtain a CDL after a DUI.
When you’re pulled over and arrested for a DUI, the police will probably take away your CDL and give you a temporary permit for driving. Once this happens, it’s as if you no longer have a CDL . Once you’ve been given the temporary permit for a DUI, you won’t be allowed to drive your commercial vehicle – even if that’s what you were driving when you were pulled over. Someone else will have to take over driving the vehicle if you’re charged with a DUI.
While you can be given a temporary permit to drive after a DUI, it won’t apply to commercial vehicles. If your CDL license has been taken away after a DUI arrest, you won’t be able to get a temporary CDL permit.
In most cases you’ll be able to get a reinstated CDL after a DUI conviction. If you were driving a non-commercial vehicle when you committed the DUI, you can usually get a CDL within a few months. If you were driving a commercial vehicle when it happened, you’ll probably have to wait at least a year before it’s reinstated. This only applies to a first DUI conviction. If you’ve been convicted of a second DUI, you’ll no longer be able to obtain a CDL license.
When you’re operating a commercial vehicle, the legal BAL or blood alcohol level for DUI is often lower than for driving a non-commercial vehicle. In most states, a BAC higher than .04 is grounds for a DUI charge as opposed to the .08 limit for non-commercial drivers. Many people think that by refusing a BAC test at the time of your DUI arrest, you can avoid the loss of your CDL license. However, by refusing to take any tests after DUI arrest you automatically forfeit your CDL license for one year in most states.