CDL License holders and DUI: What you need to know

When it comes to DUIs Individuals who hold CDL licenses are held to a much higher standard than individuals who hold regular driver’s licenses. Holders of CDL licenses are not eligible for a deferred prosecution program, diversion program, or any deferred imposition of judgment program; nor are they eligible for any drug court program.

Additionally, the term conviction is defined much more broadly for purposes the Department of Public Safety taking action against an Alabama driver license with CDL endorsement. The Department of Public Safety screens all tickets to determine if the CDL holder was operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time the violation occurred, and if so, was the case dismissed upon payment of court costs. If the case was dismissed upon payment of court costs, the violation is entered on the CDL operator’s MVR as the equivalent of a conviction.

What does that mean? A person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than 60 days if convicted of two serious traffic violations, or 120 days if convicted of three serious traffic violations, committed in a commercial motor vehicle arising from separate incidents occurring within a three-year period. This means that even if your DUI charge is dismissed with court costs it will still count as a conviction for purposes of counting toward a potential disqualification from driving a commercial motor vehicle.  

If I’m convicted of DUI or commit other serious offenses, what does that mean?

1) Any person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than one year if convicted of a DUI first, driving while their blood alcohol content is .04 or above, knowingly leaving the scene of an accident, using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony, and refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test.
2) A person is disqualified for life from driving a commercial motor vehicle if they are convicted for a second time of the above offenses.

What else should I know if I’m a CDL holder?

If a Class D operator’s license is revoked, or the CDL endorsement is disqualified for more than one year, the driver must be retested. If the operator’s license is revoked, SR-22 certificate of insurance is required for a period of three (3) years from the date of the revocation order. CDL disqualifications of one year or less are automatic reinstatements and not subject to testing. 

Getting a DUI when you’re a holder of a CDL license is a serious offense. Not only are your options for resolution limited, but you could potentially lose your ability to earn a living if convicted. When facing such a serious situation, it’s important that you have an attorney who can help you put forth the best defense possible.

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