In Maryland, drivers who have a commercial drivers license (CDL) and are found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) face harsh punishment. The punishment is so severe that many drivers find that they’re unable to make a living. This is partly because the federal government is involved in CDL licensing and partly just because driving a commercial vehicle is serious business and drivers are held to a higher standard. The fact that you were not driving a commercial vehicle at the time you are pulled over will not affect the way your license is treated by the law.
FIRST TIME OFFENSES
Many first-time DUI offenders can get a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ), meaning they are placed on probation before any judgment is made on their charge. You can also get a PBJ for your first offense as a CDL holder, but your CDL will still be suspended for one year. In the context of the lesser offense of DWI, you get 8 points on your license, which does not mandate a suspension.
Unlike a regular driver, a CDL license cannot be modified. A CDL license will be suspended for whatever amount of time the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) decides you should lose your license. You may be able to enter the Ignition Interlock Program or get a restricted license for your regular license, but with your CDL you’re out of luck.
SECOND TIME OFFENSES
If you are convicted of a DUI a second time, you will lose your CDL for life. This can be devastating to a person’s ability to earn an income.
REFUSING TO TAKE A BREATHALYZER
If a CDL driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test, they face the same 270-day license suspension that a regular driver would face, but the Federal Motor Carrier regulations will require a one-year suspension of their CDL. There is not an option to enter the Ignition Interlock Program for a CDL, so if you refuse a breathalyzer, you will not be operating a commercial vehicle for a year. If you transport hazardous materials, you will lose your CDL for three years. For refusing to take the test a second time, a CDL holder can lose their license for life.
YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED MARYLAND DUI ATTORNEY
If you are a CDL holder and you’ve been arrested for DUI or DWI, the consequences are severe, so you want to make sure you have an experienced and qualified lawyer fighting for you. Schedule a free consultation with the lawyers at Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC by contacting us online or calling us at (301) 321-7277.