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Will I lose my commercial drivers’ license if I am charged with a DUI?

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2021 | OVI/DUI |

Commercial drivers provide a great service to the state of Ohio and individuals all throughout the United States. They are an important part of the supply chain and help get necessary products to retail centers for consumers to purchase and take home. Commercial drivers work hard, have long hours and spend many days alone as they operate their rigs over long distances.

Commercial drivers also must secure separate drivers’ licenses in order to operate large trucks in and through Ohio. A commercial drivers’ license (CDL) lets a driver do their job, but when their CDL is taken from them because of a wrongful DUI conviction, they lose their ability to earn pay for themselves and their loved ones. When charged, a commercial driver can choose to fight to protect their CDL and their livelihood.

Penalties for DUI convictions

It is important that readers understand the difference between a charge and a conviction. A charge alleges that a person committed a specific crime. A conviction comes at the end of a trial if a prosecutor was able to use evidence to reach the evidentiary standard to demonstrate the individual did commit the crime. A commercial driver can lose their CDL if their convicted of DUI.

Upon their first conviction, a commercial driver may lose their CDL for up to one year. This is called disqualification. The blood alcohol concentration threshold for intoxication when using a CDL is much lower than it is for a standard driver using a non-CDL. For example, a breath test that yields a reading of .04% is sufficient to disqualify a commercial driver for up to one full year. It is also worth mentioning that alcohol is not the only thing that can cause a driver to be disqualified: the alleged use of controlled substances can also result in charges and convictions that can impact drivers’ rights to operate.

If a commercial driver is charged and convicted a second time of DUI, their disqualification may last for the rest of their life. As readers can see, it is important for drivers to address their charges before they become convictions and prevent them from doing their jobs.

Building a defense strategy to DUI charges

No one wants to lose the means of earning their pay, especially to a wrongful charge of DUI. When a driver is arrested and charged with an alleged DUI crime, they can and should contacted a trusted DUI and criminal defense lawyer for help. There are different ways to defend DUI charges and attorneys can help their clients work though those options to protect their rights under the law.