If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) you are automatically subjected to stricter rules and regulations. You may also face harsher penalties for traffic violations and other offenses. If you are convicted of a ‘major violation’, whether you are driving your personal vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), you will be immediately disqualified from operating a CMV for one year. One of the most common major violations for individuals with CDLs is driving while intoxicated (DWI). Contact a Boston DWI Lawyer Today.
Major violations for CDL Holders
CDL violations are classified as major or serious. Major violations are the greater of the two and result in immediate suspension, revocation, or lifetime loss of a driver’s CDL. Serious violations can also result in suspension, revocation, or lifetime loss, however, this typically only occurs on a cumulative basis. Examples of major violations include:
Being charged with a DUI, DWI, or OUI while operating your personal motor vehicle
Operating a CMV with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher
Refusing to submit to an alcohol test
The first major violation will result in a one-year suspension of your CDL. However, if you were transporting hazardous materials at the time of the violation, you may receive a three-year suspension. The second major violation will result in a lifetime suspension of your CDL, but certain reinstatement options may be available after ten years.
Any Amount of Alcohol Can Affect Your Ability to Operate a CMV
It is also important to note that if you are caught driving a CMV with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system, but less than 0.04%, you will be required to go out of service for at least 24 hours.
The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999
You don’t have to be driving a commercial vehicle to lose your CDL for DWI. If you get charged with any kind of drug or alcohol offense, the charges will result in a suspension of your CDL as well. This suspension or revocation is above and beyond the standard fines and penalties for DWI charges. You may lose your personal driver’s license, spend time in jail, and face hefty fines. The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 establishes the following guidelines for CDL holders:
If a driver’s personal vehicle license is suspended or revoked due to an alcohol violation, the CDL will be revoked for one year.
If a driver receives a second alcohol conviction, the CDL will be revoked for life.
If you have a CDL, with the exception of parking violations, all traffic violations must be reported to your employer within 30 days. In addition, depending on the severity of your charges and your history, criminal penalties may apply.
CDL Revocation Applies to All States
If you lose your CDL, the revocation will apply to all states. Attempting to escape your driving history by moving out of state will not be effective as every state exchanges information about CDL violations, suspensions, and revocations. Furthermore, if you are caught driving with a suspended or revoked CDL, you will be given a second disqualification. This will result in one of two outcomes: 1)You will be disqualified from operating a CMV for one year. 2)Your CDL will be revoked for life if this is your second conviction of a major violation. You may also face fines and criminal charges if you are caught operating a CMV without a valid CDL.
Altman & Altman, LLP – DWI and Criminal Lawyers Serving Boston for Over 50 Years
If you have been charged with any type of drug or alcohol violation that affects your CDL, the DWI / OUI team at Altman & Altman, LLP has the knowledge, experience, and tenacity to fight the charges against you. Our successful defense lawyers will analyze the details of your case and help you determine your rights and options prior to moving forward. We have successfully defended countless clients against DWI / OUI charges, and we can help you. Our skilled defense team will position you for the best possible outcome in your case. It is our goal to