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What Are The Potential Consequences Of A CDL DUI Conviction?

A conviction for any CDL driver under the influence is very similar for all drivers. First offenders for DUIs are eligible for what is called Court Supervision, which is a special type of probation that does not result in a conviction on your record. The maximum penalty is a year in jail, and the maximum fine is $2,500. Generally, there are not any additional criminal penalties for having a CDL, and receiving a DUI. The one exception is operating a school bus with children, which is considered an aggravated DUI, and a class IV felony. There are severe collateral consequences for CDL holders, even for a DUI in their own personal vehicle. For example, court supervision for a DUI will result in the twelve months disqualification of their commercial driver’s license. That is a long time to be out of work, which is why it is so important for CDL drivers to obtain the best representation they can, if arrested for DUI.

What Happens If The CDL Holder Is Not Driving A Commercial Vehicle At The Time Of Arrest?

It makes a difference if a commercial holder is not driving a work related vehicle when pulled over for a possible DUI. The legal limit for a DUI in a commercial vehicle is lower; it is 0.04%, versus 0.08% in a personal vehicle. As we discussed, driving a school bus with kids, is a felony aggravated DUI. Other than that, there are no additional penalties, although many judges consider it aggravating, for the fact that you were operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence.

What Are The Collateral Consequences Associated With A CDL DUI Conviction?

The consequences associated with a CDL DUI conviction is going to have a huge impact, because most of our CDL drivers, this is their only source of income. Therefore, if their license is suspended, or their commercial endorsement is disqualified for those twelve months, that means they are not working. In Illinois, supervision, or a conviction with a DUI will result in a disqualification of their CDL, which will put them out of work for those twelve months. That disqualification is in addition to any other license suspensions that may have resulted from a chemical refusal, or a chemical test failure. Again, that is why it is so important for any CDL driver to have the best representation they can, if they are arrested for a DUI.

Should CDL Holders Agree To Perform A Breathalyzer Test Or Not?

Refusing an evidentiary chemical test like a breathalyzer, blood, or urine tests has collateral consequences of a suspension, and the disqualification of the CDL. Any amount of alcohol would put the driver of the commercial vehicle out of service. A 0.04% blood alcohol content in a commercial vehicle is the limit, 0.08% is the limit for all other vehicles. However, the suspension, and disqualifications can be challenged, and rescinded. If you submit to chemical testing, and you are over the limit, those types of cases are very difficult to beat. Therefore, with that information, you should conduct yourself accordingly.

Additional Information Regarding CDL DUI Cases

Most important issue is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible, because early intervention is critical to success in the case. Be aware of the laws governing CDL drivers, and what is required of them.

For more information on Consequences Of A CDL DUI Conviction, 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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