Can You Lose a CDL for a DUI in Your Personal Car?

Updated on 09/09/2021 / Under

Getting arrested for driving under influence can be a tough ordeal. There are court hearings and court fines, and it can lead to possible jail time. In extreme circumstances, it can lead to the revocation of your licenses. The consequences are more severe for a person with a commercial driving license charged with a DUI. While most drivers think that a CDL is only affected when driving a commercial motor vehicle it is not the case. If you are caught driving under influence in a personal motor vehicle as a CDL holder it is equally disastrous.

Non-commercial license holders have fewer rules to abide by compared to commercial driving license holders. A CDL driver is held by higher standards. The most frequent question that most CDL drivers have is can you lose a CDL for a DUI in your personal car? And the answer is yes you can.

The consequences for a DUI when you have a CDL vary. You can face suspension of the CDL, lifetime disqualification of your license, jail time, and court fines. This can be overwhelming and going through this period alone can be trying if you don't have legal knowledge concerning your case. It could mean losing your career and having to get into a new field. As a commercial driver hiring a DUI lawyer with experience in this field can help you get a favorable outcome.

There are two types of limits:

  1. Limit for CDL in commercial vehicles
  2. Limit for CDL in personal vehicles

Limit for CDL DUI in Commercial Vehicles

This type of legal limit requires CDL drivers to have a blood alcohol concentration level of below 0.04% while on the road. A chemical test is used to determine the blood alcohol content a person has while driving.

Lose a CDL for a DUI in Your Personal Car

The reason why the blood alcohol concentration for commercial vehicles such as buses or trucks is lower is that the loss suffered on property or lives can be tremendous compared to regular drivers driving a non-commercial vehicle. Hence repercussions suffered are much higher once charged for a traffic offense such as a DUI.

Limit for CDL DUI in Personal Vehicle

The blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 for a commercial driver driving their personal vehicle. If convicted of driving under influence the commercial driver is at risk of penalties. this may include suspension of the CDL, court fines, and even jail time.

It’s also important to note that refusing to take a chemical can work against your favor if convicted. A chemical test is required to determine your alcohol blood limit, failure to take it can lead to higher penalties. In some states, if a person refuses to take the chemical test, the repercussions are the same as having crossed the legal limit.

Taking the test will as well put you at a disadvantage since you will be giving the authorities evidence to arrest and charge you for a DUI. The best thing to do is to ask to talk to a lawyer before taking the test.

Related: Do You Need a Lawyer For a First Time DUI?

What are The Repercussions if Convicted of DUI? 

The consequences that you will face will depend on a few factors:

Have you hired a criminal defense attorney?  An experienced DUI lawyer in Naperville can be vital in helping you through your case. A lawyer understands the law and if they have specialized they will advise on the right steps to take in your case. With a great lawyer by your side, you will either get your case dismissed or get a lesser sentence.

If there was a minor in the car; this may well be another important thing to consider. If there was a minor in the car during your arrest it can lead to an increase in court fines as well as other severe consequences. 

It is good to note the legal blood alcohol concentration limit for personal vehicle drivers and commercial vehicle owners.  If after a test the blood alcohol level shows that you have 0.15 or even higher it can lead to harsh consequences.

In the case where an accident occurs while driving under influence of alcohol the case dynamics change. The jury or judge will have to consider if anyone has been hurt due to eth traffic violation. If a person suffered fatal injuries or even died as a result of the accident it affects the case differently.

Leaving the scene of the accident.  Some people leave the accident scene due to fear of the consequences or for other reasons. It is a bad idea. Do not leave the site of the accident until the authorities have arrived at the scene and collected a report. Leaving can be seen as admittance to guilt and lead to much worse penalties.

Contact our attorneys if you have a DUI charge threatening your CDL

There are severe consequences if convicted for DUI while you possess a commercial driver's license. They include:

  • Court fines. Court fines may vary in amount but the fine is roughly $2500, this is based on the judgment, but is sure that a person will have to pay court fines
  • Substance abuse classes. This actually mandatory in most states, that driver will have to a voluntary substance abuse class.
  • Class A misdemeanor on your criminal record
  • Jail term. Depending on the case jail time may be mandatory. Even so, sometimes a person can get an option of either jail term or community service. Hence, such repercussion may include a mandatory jail term for a minimum of 10 days or 30 days community service.
  • Suspension. This will be determined by the number of times the driver has committed an offense and the circumstances revolving around the case. 

As a first-time DUI offender, most states can give a one-year suspension to serve as a commercial license penalty. For a second-time offense in Illinois, the driver is likely to face a lifetime suspension.

How to Get Your License Back After a Ban

After a commercial vehicle operator has been convicted for the first time for drunk driving they may feel that they want to get back to their normal life. 

If you have been waiting for some time to get your license back but are not sure how to go about it here are a few steps you can take to get your commercial license privileges back:

  • Wait for lapse of the one year suspension time, you are allowed to get your license before time has lapsed
  • Repeat all cdl classes to equip you with knowledge then do the tests afresh,
  • Paying the reinstatement fee.  There is reinstatement fee that you need to pay to get your license suspension lifted.
  • Attend an alcohol safety program 

You can lose your CDL license after being charged with a DUI while driving a personal passenger vehicle. However, with the right criminal defense attorney, you don't have to lose your livelihood and start from scratch.

At Naperville DUI Lawyers our criminal defense lawyer will prepare your defense strategy, give you legal advice, and help you get the outcome you need. You can schedule your initial consultation by phone at (630) 425-0250 or fill out our contact forms and we will get back to you.