Can you get a CDL with a DUI?

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required if you will be operating any type of vehicle over a certain gross weight.  These types of vehicles typically include tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses. The primary reason a person obtains a CDL is for employment purposes.

Since operating a tow truck, bus, or other heavy vehicle is a career, losing the license means losing your ability to adequately support yourself and your family, which is devastating.

CDL truck driver

In 2005, the law covering suspension of a commercial driver’s license increased its penalties to include CDL suspension with DUI charges, even if your conviction involved only your personal vehicle. This is a really stiff penalty considering that your CDL will be automatically suspended if you are convicted of any drinking and driving offense, which includes operating while impaired (OWI) or refusing a breath test.

If this is your first offense, your CDL will be suspended for one year. However, if this is your second or third offense your license will be revoked for a minimum of ten (10) years.

The Difference Between a Suspension and Revocation

The difference between a suspension and revocation is huge and worth mentioning. A suspension means that after the year suspension is over, your commercial vehicle license will be automatically returned to you. A revocation means that your CDL is taken away completely, and the only way to get it back is to reapply and go through the entire application process like you did the first time.

Remember, these penalties apply whether the offense is committed while driving your commercial vehicle or your personal vehicle. This really raises a CDL holder’s responsibility when it comes to driving. The license suspension is mandatory and you will want an experienced and aggressive attorney advocating on your behalf immediately to get the charge dismissed or reduced.

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Getting the Offense Reduced

Dealing with a drinking and driving offense is stressful enough, adding the loss of your CDL to the picture can be overwhelming. Getting that drunk driving offense reduced to a non-drinking offense is crucial if you want to keep your commercial driver’s license and your livelihood. Negotiating a plea to reckless or careless driving could mean the difference between maintaining your career and having to start all over.

Although receiving a reckless driving offense while using your commercial vehicle will still result in a one-year suspension of your CDL, if you were using your personal vehicle when the offense was committed, your CDL will only be suspended for 90 days.

This is something you will really want to fight for, especially if you rely on your CDL to make your living.

Your Charge May Be Dismissed

In addition to negotiating a plea deal, it may be possible to get your charge dismissed. The attorneys in our office are highly trained in challenging the reliability of the breath or blood evidence.In fact, attorney Barton Morris is the only Metro Detroit attorney to have completed the Axion Lab Blood Alcohol and Drug THC Testing Course. This gives him, and you, the edge above everyone else when it comes to analyzing evidence in a drinking and driving case.

Because an alcohol related conviction has such a large impact on a CDL holder’s ability to maintain a career, it is absolutely necessary that you hire a lawyer who will thoroughly investigate every possible defense to your charge. The penalties given to CDL drivers for alcohol related offenses are severe, and navigating the legal process on your own could cause irreparable harm.

The Takeaway: Can You Get a CDL with a DUI?

So, can you get a CDL with a DUI?

If you have been charged with a drinking and driving offense in the Oakland, Wayne or Macomb County communities of Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, Warren, Troy, Sterling Heights or any surrounding area and want the best OWI/DUI defense lawyer, call the Law Office of Barton Morris today.

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