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Commercial Drivers Licenses And DUIs


Commercial Drivers Licenses And DUIsThis article explains:

  • How a DUI arrest will affect your Illinois or Indiana Commercial Driver’s License,
  • How to avoid losing your CDL after a DUI in Illinois or Indiana, and
  • What you should do if you are arrested for a DUI.
How Long Will I Lose My CDL License For After A DUI in Illinois Or Indiana?

In both Illinois and Indiana, there is a standard suspension period for failing a chemical test of six months. You have given implied consent to submit to a chemical test by obtaining a driver’s license or commercial driver’s license. The statutory summary suspension period increases to 12 months if you refuse to take a chemical test. Either of these suspensions will disqualify your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for one year.

Upon conviction for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or even Illinois’ court supervision (a special type of judgment withheld probation) your CDL also gets disqualified for 12 months. This means you will not be allowed to drive a commercial vehicle and you can’t earn a living as a CDL driver.

For CDL drivers, in order to be able to continue to drive and earn a living wage, it is critical to rescind or remove the suspension and avoid any type of disposition on a DUI because either will result in a 12-month disqualification of your CDL. It is possible to avoid losing your CDL. The MacNeil Firm has over 25 years of experience successfully representing CDL drivers in DUI’s, OWI’s, and other traffic matters.

Do I Lose My CDL Immediately After A DUI Arrest And Charge In Illinois Or Indiana Or Will I Keep My CDL Until A Conviction?

In both Illinois and Indiana, a CDL will be disqualified immediately. It occurs at the same time that the implied consent suspension, or in Illinois, the statutory summary suspension, goes into effect. A skilled attorney can take actions to try to avoid this and keep you driving.

Can I Get A Restricted Driver’s License After A DUI Charge In Illinois Or Indiana?

There are a variety of ways to obtain driving privileges during an implied consent suspension or statutory summary suspension.

In Indiana, you can petition for an interlock device in lieu of suspension. This would allow you to drive anywhere, anytime, anyplace, but you have to have the breathalyzer installed in your vehicle. Also in Indiana, you can obtain a specialized driving permit or specialized driving privileges, but only if you have an Indiana driver’s license. That basically operates like a work permit, allowing you to drive during specific times during specific days at specified locations.

In Illinois, there is also an interlock option, the MDDP, monitoring device driving permit, which allows you to drive anywhere, anytime, anyplace, but only if you have the breathalyzer device in your vehicle.

Unfortunately, there is no permit, in either state, which would allow you to drive or operate a commercial vehicle during this time.

There are strategies that would avoid the CDL disqualification and avoid license suspension.

What Happens To My CDL Driver’s License If I Refuse A Breath Or Blood Test?

If you’re a CDL driver, even if you were driving your personal vehicle at the time of your arrest, your CDL will be disqualified and your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 12 months if you refuse the test, in both Illinois and Indiana.

If you are in a commercial vehicle, and you refuse the chemical test, the authorities will put you out of service immediately and your CDL will also be disqualified.

What Will Hiring An Illinois Or Indiana DUI Attorney Do For My Commercial Driver’s License DUI Case?

In any case, it is vital you hire an attorney that is familiar with the particular DUI/OWI laws of your state. If you have an Illinois driver’s license and are involved in an Illinois case, then obviously you would want an Illinois attorney.

Sometimes, however, your situation will not be so simple. If you have, for example, an Illinois license, but you have an Indiana case, you really need an attorney that’s familiar with both laws and licensed in both states.

Either way, hiring an attorney that is familiar with how to navigate a DUI for someone with a CDL will give you the best opportunity to avoid the 12-month disqualification of your CDL.

The MacNeil Firm has attorneys licensed in Illinois and Indiana that are well versed handling DUI/OWI cases for CDL drivers and helping you keep your CDL and keep driving while your case is pending.

Are There Benefits To Pleading Guilty Right Away To A DUI Charge In Illinois Or Indiana?

Under specific circumstances, there are some benefits to pleading guilty right away.

Generally speaking, however, your attorney will prefer to take their time and obtain the discovery and evidence needed to develop an effective strategy. But if an excellent attorney spots an opportunity to obtain a particular result, immediately, they will talk to you about it, and, together, you can decide if pleading guilty is the optimal way to proceed.

That is why it is essential to find a qualified and experienced DUI attorney who will help you be able to get the best possible outcome for your CDL or specific case and situation.

For more information on CDL Consequences After A DUI In IL & IN, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (708) 218-0947 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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