A commercial driver’s license (CDL) comes with unique rules and restrictions. A DUI arrest can affect a CDL in ways that it might not a normal driver’s license. Drivers with CDLs tend to be held to stricter standards and may face harsher penalties against their licenses.
When a driver with a CDL is convicted for a DUI, their CDL may be suspended for 1 year. If the driver was hauling hazardous materials during the alleged DUI, the suspension might be 3 years. Repeat offenses or other unique circumstances might instead lead to a permanent suspension of the CDL. Out-of-state drivers might be subject to different rules depending on what state issued their CDL. However, certain federal laws apply to all CDL drivers across all states.
If you have a CDL and were convicted for a DUI in Utah, an attorney can help you fight the charges and hopefully keep your license. Contact our Layton DUI defense attorneys at Overson Law, PLLC. Call (801) 758-2287 for a free case review.
Suspension of Your Commercial Driver’s License After a DUI Arrest in Utah
Commercial drivers include long-haul truckers moving cargo across the state or country. Sometimes, the cargo being hauled is dangerous and might be highly flammable or toxic. Other times, commercial drivers, like bus drivers, carry passengers. When these drivers are convicted for DUIs, they face suspensions of their CDLs.
Generally, a conviction is required before your license is suspended. However, even if you are not convicted, you could still face administrative action against your license.
According to Utah Code § 53-3-414(a), a driver convicted for their first DUI may be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least 1 year. For CDL drivers, the legal BAC limit in Utah is .04 grams instead of the ordinary .05 grams. An arrest might not trigger an immediate suspension, but a conviction will.
Commercial drivers who were hauling hazardous material at the time of their DUI may face longer suspension or disqualification times. Instead of only 1 year, they can be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least 3 years.
In addition, if you are not arrested for a DUI but are pulled over while driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in your body, you may be placed out of service for 24 consecutive hours. This poses a significant problem for drivers in the middle of a long-haul job.
Even if you are not convicted for the DUI, you may still face license suspensions if you refuse to submit to legally required chemical testing. Our Ogden DUI defense lawyers can help you challenge any suspensions you might face so you can keep your license and your job.
Can I Lose My CDL Permanently After a DUI Arrest in Utah?
In addition to the above-mentioned CDL suspensions, it is also possible that you could lose your license for life. According to the same statute, a commercial driver convicted for multiple DUIs may lose their license forever. Our Utah DUI defense attorneys can help you fight these penalties so you can continue driving.
You do not necessarily have to be convicted for two DUIs to permanently lose your commercial driver’s license. According to Utah Code § 53-3-414(3)(a), a combination of at least two separate offenses may result in the permanent loss of your CDL. These offenses include the following:
- Driving with alcohol or controlled substances in your body
- Driving with a BAC of at least .04 grams
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Failing to provide reasonable assistance in an accident the driver was involved in involving death or personal injury
- Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony
- Refusal to submit to chemical testing
- Driving a commercial vehicle while your CDL is suspended
- Driving a commercial vehicle negligently as to cause the death of another
You might only be convicted for your first DUI, but if you were previously convicted or administrative action was taken regarding one of the above-listed offenses, you can lose your CDL forever. The permanent loss of your CDL typically means you can no longer be a commercial driver, and you must find new employment.
What Happens to an Out-of-State CDL After a DU Arrest in Utah?
Commercial drivers may be licensed in one state but drive through other states, including Utah. Cross-country truckers are common on our state’s highways, and many have CDLs from outside Utah. Utah does not have authority over these licenses, but a DUI in Utah may negatively affect the out-of-state commercial driver.
According to Utah’s Driver’s License Compact, a traffic violation, including a DUI, in one state will be reported to the driver’s home state or whichever state issued their license. This Compact covers CDLs in addition to standard driver’s licenses. This rule can also be found under Utah Code § 53-3-419(1).
A commercial driver from another state arrested in Utah or a DUI will face penalties against their license in their home state. These penalties may vary by state. Our Utah criminal defense attorneys can help out-of-state commercial drivers fight DUI charges they incurred while driving in Utah. You may benefit from a local Utah attorney handling a Utah DUI in such a case.
Truckers are also bound by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which applies to all truck drivers in all states. Under the FMCSA rules, a conviction in any state may cost you your license. Our legal team can help you fight the charge and hopefully avoid a conviction.
Can I Get My Commercial Driver’s License Reinstated After a DUI Arrest in Utah?
Reinstating a commercial driver’s license is possible only after the suspension term has expired. If your CDL is suspended for 1 year, you cannot apply to reinstate your license until that year has passed. This often means suspended CDL drivers are out of work for an entire year or longer. Unfortunately, if your license is revoked permanently, you can never reinstate it.
Our Utah DUI defense attorneys can help you navigate the reinstatement process to get your license back. To reinstate your CDL, you must fill out the proper application form and schedule an in-person appointment at a driver’s license office. There may also be various reinstatements fees to pay.
Contact Our Utah DUI Defense Attorneys Right Away
If you are a commercial driver who was arrested for a DUI, the consequences could cost you your license and your livelihood. Our Provo DUI defense attorneys can help you fight the charges and keep your license. Call at Overson Law, PLLC. Call (801) 758-2287 for a free case review.