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How can DUI charges impact a commercial driver’s license?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Driver's License Suspension, Drunk Driving Defense |

Being accused of driving under the influence in Illinois can be a problem for anyone. It can hinder their attempts to secure future employment or advance in their current job. It can curry disfavor in the community and damage a person and their family. Worse, it can lead to jail time, fines and a loss of driving privileges.

For some, the penalties can be even worse. Commercial drivers whose livelihood is based on having their commercial driver’s license and need a clean driving record could face a litany of challenges if they are convicted of DUI or other alcohol-related offenses. Knowing the law specific to these circumstances is integral to formulating a quality defense.

What happens to my CDL if I am convicted of DUI?

The DUI laws vary for people driving on a regular license compared with CDL holders or those who have a commercial learner’s permit (CLP). With alcohol and drug violations, a person will face consequences if they are asked by law enforcement to take a breath or blood test to determine if they are intoxicated and they refuse. This elicits a one-year suspension of their CDL.

The blood alcohol concentration for a CDL or CLP driver is lower than it is for a person on a regular driver’s license. For CDL drivers, it is 0.04% compared with 0.08% for other drivers. Regarding drugs, any amount of cannabis, methamphetamine or a controlled substance will result in a year-long suspension.

It is imperative to remember that this applies even if they are not driving a commercial vehicle at the time. These penalties will apply if it is a first violation. Drivers who are charged while they are transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded will have a three-year suspension.

Commercial drivers must protect their CDL and fight DUI charges

Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard. Their workloads can increase during the holidays and law enforcement is out in force to catch drivers who might be under the influence. The combination can lead to more stops and the chance that drivers will be caught and charged.

While the situation might seem bleak, it is vital to remember there are viable options to create an effective defense. After a DUI conviction of any kind, CDL drivers should remember that multiple aspects of their life and future can be put in jeopardy.

A key part of a defense is knowing the consequences and tailoring a defense to the case. Calling professionals who understand all aspects of DUI charges can be helpful.