In order to drive a large commercial vehicle, you must first hold a valid commercial driver’s license. You may only qualify for obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) after passing several written and skills test, as well as a health evaluation. Once you have this license, you have the ability to earn a quality living driving a tractor-trailer or another type of commercial vehicle as a career. CDL holders are also subject to an additional set of regulations set out by both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state law. These regulations are often stricter than regular driving laws and they can put your CDL in jeopardy for certain violations.
As you can imagine, losing your CDL for any period of time can cause many issues in your life. Without a proper license, you cannot work and, without a job, you cannot pay your bills and provide support for your family. Such financial issues can then strain your familial relationships and more. For these reasons, receiving a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) when you hold a CDL can be devastating.
When will your license be suspended?
A CDL can be suspended for at least one year if you receive any of the following (or for three years if you hold a license to drive a truck carrying hazardous materials):
- Driving under the influence in either a regular vehicle or a commercial vehicle
- Driving while ability impaired
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Refusal of a chemical test
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Committing a felony involving a vehicle
- Driving a commercial vehicle with a suspended or revoked CDL
In addition to the above, if you receive a second DUI in your lifetime, you will permanently lose your ability to hold a commercial driver’s license ever again. Under federal law, commercial drivers may again be eligible ten years after a second condition, but Colorado enforces a lifetime ban.
In addition to the above, federal law prohibits a judge to issue any type of sentencing that masks a conviction for a DUI-related offense on a commercial driver’s record. For instance, you may not have the option to go to DUI court to have your case dismissed or to have a deferred sentence. For this reason and more, avoiding a conviction at all costs is highly important for all drivers with a CDL.
Call an experienced Denver DUI defense lawyer for assistance with your case today
If you rely on your CDL to earn a living, a DUI or related conviction can cause serious problems in almost all aspects of your life. While you should never risk driving a commercial truck after drinking, arrests for DUIs do happen, many of which may be wrongful. You never want to risk even the shortest suspension of your commercial driver’s license and an interruption in your professional opportunities. Denver attorney Jay Tiftickjian understands how to defend DUI charges for CDL holders, so please call the Tiftickjian Law Firm at 303-DUI-5280 for assistance today.