Being a commercial driver comes with it’s own set of responsibilities. You are supposed to be the smartest, safest, most agile drivers on the road. And typically, you are. Driving a vehicle that’s more than twice the size of a passenger vehicle— tractor trailer drivers are practically modern- day superheroes. However, in the event that you might be drinking and driving, a Commercial Driver’s DUI has some pretty serious consequences. These large, potentially dangerous vehicles demand safe, alert drivers. As do the companies that hire you. So, in the event of a DUI, the punishment is pretty severe.
Commercial Driver’s DUI: What Does This Mean for My Career?
A First-Offense Equals Suspended CDL
The DMV will suspend a CDL when commercial drivers commit a major offense. These major offenses include DUIs, drug offenses, refusing a BAC, hit and runs, and using a commercial vehicle for a felony. A first offense suspends a CDL for a year.
Surprisingly, the DUI does not have to occur in a commercial vehicle. A suspension will occur when one of the following occurs. First, the driver receives a DUI in any vehicle. Second, the driver has a BAC of .04% while driving a commercial vehicle. Third, the driver refuses to submit to testing when pulled over in any vehicle. Therefore, a driver who holds a CDL must exercise caution and smart driving decisions at all times.
The Second Offense
The second offense is much more serious. Any second major offense (the ones listed above) suspends your CDL for life. Therefore, two DUIs suspend your CDL for life. The penalty is especially serious because it can cause you to lose your profession without the potential for return. Furthermore, you also face the jail time and fines associated with DUIs.
CDL As A Privilege
Having a CDL is a privilege that can be taken away if need be. If the DMV cannot trust you to make good decisions in a passenger vehicle, who’s to say you’ll do so behind the wheel of a big rig? The DMV operates with this type of mindset when it comes to CDL’s. Unlike most people, a commercial driver’s DUI has a direct effect on your day-to-day, profession, and income. So, if you’re facing a DUI and you have CDL, it’s important to speak with an attorney quickly.