What Happens If I Have Or Get A DUI?
A trucker needs his/her commercial driver’s license in order perform the job, get paid, and put food on the table. However, if you make the mistake of getting a DUI, your CDL will be suspended for a year – and that’s just for first time offenders. A suspension means your CDL will be returned once the year is up. If you get a second or third offense, your CDL is revoked for ten years meaning it’s taken away completely and the only way you’ll get another is to re-apply after the 10-year period – and good luck getting a job after that.
Can I Get A CDL With A DUI?
If you have a DUI on your driving record, there’s still a possibility that you can get a CDL. However, getting a job with a trucking company is going to be more difficult. A lot of companies won’t hire a driver who’s been convicted of drinking and driving, especially if it’s a recent conviction.
Trucking companies often look at your driving record for the previous three years and if there’s a DUI during that time, there’s a pretty good chance they won’t hire you. But don’t give up hope! There are some companies that may hire you a year or more after having DUI charges on your record. To find out, you need to ask someone who is in management at the company. If you still can’t find a job, you’ll be able to apply for a CDL once your license suspension is lifted. This means you’ll need to find some other type of employment until you get your license back.
What Happens When I Get My License Back?
Be prepared to pay higher insurance rates and you’ll probably need SR-22 insurance. An SR-22 is a vehicle liability insurance document that’s required by most Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices for “high-risk” insurance policies. The SR-22 will be part of the process when reinstating your CDL.
I’m A CDL Driver And Got A DUI. Can I Get A Work Permit?
No. While some states let DUI defendants obtain temporary driving privileges with ‘work permits’ commercial drivers charged with a DUI won’t be able to work as a driver following a DUI charge. Non-commercial drivers can be charged with DUI if their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.08%.
The BAC requirement for truck drivers is lower at 0.04% meaning you’re held to a higher standard. Attempting to perform your job after drinking alcohol or taking drugs endangers so many people.
How Does Getting A DUI Affect My CDL?
Usually your license is suspended once you’ve been charged with a DUI. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve been convicted. Commercial drivers typically have their license suspended for at least a year on a first time conviction. A second conviction means permanent revocation of your CDL.
Being convicted of a DUI can mean monetary fines, jail time, and sometimes substance abuse programs. Staying sober on the road protects your license, your life, and the lives of others. So the best thing you can do is not drink on the job.
What Do I Do If I Get A DUI?
First, you need to know what you’ve been ticketed for, since there are different convictions in different states. Every state has laws against driving under the influence of alcohol. You can be ticketed for operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance even if you have a prescription for the drugs.
Another way you risk losing your CDL is by refusing a drug and alcohol test. Even if you weren’t drinking prior to the request, refusing an alcohol-screening test is the same as admitting guilt. In most states, a refusal can lead to the immediate revocation of your CDL.
What If I’m Not On The Job When I Get A DUI?
Some states have stricter penalties and suspension periods for drivers who get a DUI in a commercial vehicle. Oh sure a DUI in a personal vehicle can still lead to suspension; but, you could get your license back earlier if this is the case.
Just like pilots have rules for drinking before flights, so do commercial drivers. Presently no commercial driver can drink alcohol four hours prior to the use of a vehicle. This means that you can still get a ticket or have your license suspended, even if you test below the legal limit. If you’re driving your personal vehicle and are intoxicated, your CDL can be suspended for 90 days.