Can a DUI Lead to a CDL Suspension?
If a Trucker Was Drunk Drinking, Will They Lose Their License?
Driving under the influence is a major violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations. In fact, the standards for commercial drivers are stricter than for other motorists. While most motorists can be found guilty of drunk driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, a commercial truck driver can be found guilty with a BAC of only 0.04%.
The first offense for DUI causes a truck driver to lose their commercial driver's license (CDL) for a year. If they were impaired while driving a truck transporting hazardous materials, the trucker will be disqualified from driving for three years. For a second conviction of driving while under the influence, it will result in a lifetime disqualification.
Commercial driving privileges can also be lost for one year for the following offenses:
- Refusing to submit to a chemical test (ex: a DUI blood test).
- Leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage and/or injury.
- Driving a personal or commercial motor vehicle while impaired by drugs.
- Any felony committed with a personal or commercial motor vehicle.
- Operating a commercial motor vehicle with a revoked, suspended, or canceled CDL.
Understanding Federal Trucking Regulations
Federal trucking regulations are put in place to keep motorists safe. They outline rules on everything from the height and weight of a vehicle to the number of hours a trucker is permitted to drive. Learn more here.
While laws vary, once a commercial driver has been convicted of driving under the influence, they will not be permitted to obtain a hardship license that allows them to drive a commercial motor vehicle. They may be eligible to receive a hardship license for non-commercial purposes, such as driving a passenger vehicle to school and medical appointments. To requalify for their commercial driver's license after the length of their disqualification has passed, a driver will need to pass the CDL knowledge and skills test and pay the appropriate re-qualification fee. For the hazardous materials endorsement, they will need to pass a separate test.
If you were in an accident in which a truck driver was cited for alcohol or drugs, you may have a legal right to seek compensation from the truck driver and the trucking company that employed him or her.
Learn more about your legal rights by contacting us for a free review of your case. A consultation is free when you call (888) 493-1629.