How an Indiana DUI Can Affect Your Commercial Driver’s License

Most drivers are generally aware of the negative repercussions they will face concerning their driver’s license after a DUI. But what happens if you hold a commercial driver’s license or CDL? The state’s DUI laws are stricter for Indiana CDL holders.

If you have a CDL and are facing DUI charges, it’s critical that you retain an Indianapolis DUI lawyer right away. Rathburn Law Office P.C. is committed to delivering strong legal advocacy on behalf of our clients. Reach out today for a free case evaluation.

What Is the Blood Alcohol Content Limit for CDL Drivers?

For most drivers, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%. This is the amount that is measured by a blood or breath test. If the driver is found above this limit he or she will face DUI charges. But the percentage is cut in half for Indiana CDL holders: 0.04%.

If a CDL holder is above this amount while operating a commercial vehicle, he or she will face DUI charges. This legal limit reflects the significant dangers that driving a commercial vehicle can pose to innocent bystanders. While any automobile accident is inherently deadly, a commercial vehicle is generally heavier, larger, and more dangerous.

What Happens to My CDL if I’m Convicted of a DUI?

If you are convicted of a DUI, or OWI in Indiana, the consequences for your license are potentially severe. You should call an Indianapolis DUI defense lawyer immediately.

To begin with, consider the initial traffic stop by law enforcement. All Indiana drivers must take a drug or alcohol test if the officer requests one. Many drivers, including CDL holders, refuse this test.

But they gave their implied consent to this test when they obtained their license. Therefore, a CDL holder who refuses a test will face an automatic one-year license suspension. If the driver was carrying hazardous substances at the time, the license may be suspended for three years.

A DUI conviction can result in your Indiana CDL being disqualified and the suspension or revocation of your license. What many CDL holders don’t realize, however, is that they need not be operating a commercial vehicle for this to happen. These can be the consequences of a DUI, whether the vehicle driven was private or commercial.

Is a Special Driving Privilege Available?

All DUI drivers with a suspended license can ask the court to grant them a special driving privilege. This allows them to work and perform other essential driving-related tasks. A CDL holder can request this too, and be granted a special driving privilege.

However, the privilege will not allow the driver to operate a commercial vehicle. If you rely on your CDL to earn a living, you could be dealing with major financial consequences. An experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer can help you with the next best steps.

What Will a Conviction Do to My CDL?

A first-time DUI conviction will result in a one-year disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle. That time is bumped up to three years if you carried hazardous materials at the time of the DUI.

A second conviction results in a lifetime suspension of commercial driving privileges. Reinstatement is possible after ten years. But if another DUI happens, the suspension will be irreversible.

Explore Your Legal Options With Rathburn Law

Considering these severe penalties, and the impact they may have on your livelihood, what are your options? It’s time to talk with a seasoned DUI defense lawyer in Indiana. You may be able to have the charges dismissed, depending on the circumstances. Or you can fight them in court and win back your rights.

Regardless, time is of the essence. Call us today at 317.671.8965 if you are a CDL holder facing DUI charges.

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With over 25 years of experience, Rathburn Law is your ideal choice. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, Reach out to us today!