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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, buses, and more.
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 choice, losing this license means losing your ability to adequately support yourself and your family, which is devastating.
In 2005, the law covering suspension of a commercial driver’s license increased its penalties to include CDL suspension 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 years.
The Difference Between a Suspension & Revocation
The difference between a suspension and revocation is huge and worth mentioning.
A suspension means that after the year-long 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 charges against you dismissed or reduced.