Can You Get a CDL with a DUI on Your Record?

Categories: DUI Defense

Can You Get a CDL with a DUI on Your Record

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to operate a commercial vehicle, making it necessary for certain job positions. A CDL authorizes a driver to operate any:

  • Commercial motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or heavier,
  • Commercial vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, or
  • Vehicle transporting hazardous material.

Holding a CDL can increase an individual’s earning potential and make it easier to secure employment. To secure a CDL, you must meet several requirements, including submitting your driving record. A recent DUI may prevent you from securing your CDL until at least one year has passed.

An experienced DUI attorney can help compile the documents you need to apply for your CDL. If you are facing DUI charges, keep in mind that a conviction can limit your ability to secure a CDL.

Will I Lose My CDL If I Receive a DUI?

Colorado imposes stricter penalties for commercial vehicle drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol. Operating a commercial vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or above is called a commercial DUI. The BAC requirement for commercial vehicles is lower because the sheer size of commercial vehicles makes them more dangerous on the road, especially with an impaired driver behind the wheel.

Receiving a commercial DUI triggers a one-year revocation of your CDL. The revocation period for a first conviction increases to three years if you were transporting hazardous materials at the time of the alleged violation. A second commercial DUI can result in the permanent revocation of your CDL. Still, you can apply for reinstatement after ten years if you complete a state-approved drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.

Along with losing your CDL, you will face the criminal penalties for a DUI conviction.

How to Get Your CDL Reinstated

Once you complete your suspension period, you do not automatically receive your commercial driving privileges. Instead, you must take certain steps to reinstate your CDL. You must also complete the following:

  • Pay reinstatement fees,
  • Complete court-ordered activities,
  • Attend a drug and alcohol treatment program,
  • Install an ignition interlock device, if applicable, and
  • Send your application to the DMV.

An attorney can help determine the steps you need to reinstate your CDL and compile the documents to send to the DMV.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get a CDL After a DUI?

The waiting period to obtain a CDL after a DUI depends on the number of DUI convictions on your record. If you have one DUI conviction, you must wait at least one year before you can apply for a CDL. If you have two DUI convictions, you may be ineligible to apply for a CDL. You may submit a CDL application after 10 years if you completed a state-approved drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.

How Can a Lawyer Help You Avoid a Commercial DUI Conviction?

One way an attorney can help you avoid a DUI conviction is by presenting proof of a legal defense. Several legal defenses could apply to your case and help with negotiating DUI charges. Examples of valid legal defenses include:

  • Law enforcement lacked reasonable suspicion to pull you over;
  • The testing equipment was not calibrated correctly;
  • Your chemical test was collected incorrectly;
  • Officers did not read you your implied consent advisement;  or
  • Another person was driving the vehicle.

If a legal defense puts an element of the DUI charge in doubt, the prosecutor may agree to reduce your charges. A DUI attorney can review the facts of your case and determine whether a legal claim applies to your charges. Then, we can negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charges or dismiss them entirely.

Can You Get a CDL with a DUI? Contact Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., Today to Find Out

As the sole practitioner of Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., I have more than two decades of experience helping individuals accused of drunk driving protect their driving privileges. I know Colorado prosecutors try to prosecute DUI cases aggressively, but I am prepared to craft a strategy that will negate the State’s accusations against you. Other DUI attorneys may pressure you to take an unfavorable plea offer because they do not want to take your case to trial.

I will not hesitate to take your DUI case to trial if the prosecutor fails to offer a fair plea agreement. I will walk you through every step of the criminal process and work tirelessly to avoid a DUI conviction. Contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., to schedule a free initial consultation.

Our team at Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., answered some frequently asked questions below. If you have other questions about how a DUI affects your CDL, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Lose My CDL for Other Convictions?

Yes, you can lose your CDL for other criminal convictions, including:

  • Refusal,
  • Leaving the scene of an accident,
  • Using a vehicle to commit a felony,
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without a CDL,
  • Vehicular manslaughter, or
  • Vehicular homicide.

Certain crimes carry an automatic lifetime CDL ban under federal law, including:

  • Using the vehicle in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance; and
  • Using a CMV in the commission of a felony involving an act or practice of severe forms of trafficking in persons, as defined and described in 22 U.S.C. 7102(11).

You should hire an attorney to protect your CDL anytime you are facing charges related to driving a commercial vehicle.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is a portable breathalyzer that is wired into the ignition system of a vehicle. The driver must blow into the IID before the vehicle will start. If the driver’s breath contains any concentration of alcohol, the vehicle will not start.

The IID may be required as part of your DUI penalty. The device will go on your regular vehicle, not a commercial vehicle. You are responsible for the financial implications of the IID and its maintenance.

Mark Rubinstein

Attorney Mark S. Rubinstein has been practicing law for more than 30 years, including 25 years in Colorado. He founded Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., in Carbondale after working for law firms in Denver and earlier in his career in San Diego. He focuses his practice in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury representation, and he is well known throughout western Colorado as an effective and unwavering advocate for his clients.