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How Does a DUI Affect a CDL?

Commercial trucks pose serious threats on the roads due to their sizes, weights, and difficulty maneuvering. That’s why people must obtain special commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) to operate commercial trucks. When you drive a commercial vehicle, the law holds you to stricter standards regarding safety and you must adhere to many more regulations than a person with a regular driver’s license.

The laws regarding driving under the influence (DUI), for example, are stricter for people operating a large truck. Specifically, the legal presumption of impairment begins at a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 percent instead of the standard 0.08 percent. CDL holders must also submit to random drug and alcohol testing, as well as after certain crashes. Regulations also prohibit a driver from operating a commercial truck within four hours of having any alcohol.

If you are convicted of DUI when driving a commercial truck, you will lose your commercial license—likely for a long time. Even a regular DUI conviction, however, can cause you to lose your commercial license. If you are convicted of DUI in your own personal vehicle when you were off the clock, you may lose both your personal and commercial driver’s licenses.

A DUI conviction ordinarily means fines, jail time, probation, and other consequences. Loss of a commercial license, however, prohibits a truck driver from working. It can take time to find another job. In addition, even if your CDL is eventually reinstated, many trucking companies will not hire you due to the DUI on your record. Your insurance rates will skyrocket—for both your personal vehicle and if you do commercially drive in the future.


A DUI conviction can completely change the life of a commercial driver. The best way to help avoid a conviction after a citation: Hire a highly experienced DUI defense attorney. A defense lawyer can defend against DUI allegations in many ways, including:

  • Challenging the results of a breath or blood test
  • Challenging the legality of the traffic stop
  • Challenging the officer’s observations and probable cause
  • Challenging field sobriety test procedures
  • Providing another explanation for the appearance of impairment

An attorney can also work to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor for a lesser offense and less strict penalties that may not have such serious impacts on your life.


Have a strong defense in every criminal case, because the penalties may derail your life for years to come. At the law office of Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC, we represent clients facing all types of DUI charges, including commercial drivers. We will explore every possible defense and options to reduce your consequences or have your charges dropped. Call our office at (301) 321-7277 or contact us online for more information today.