Your Future is
Worth Fighting for
Our Team is On
Your Side
Our Team is On Your Side
c-img-new c-img-new c-img-new

What is the Legal Limit for Commercial Drivers?

Latest News

Commercial drivers are held to higher standards when it comes to drunk driving and driving under the influence. Although non-commercial drivers over 21 years old must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of below .08 while driving, commercial drivers are required to have a BAC of less than .04 while operating a commercial vehicle.

If you are a CDL holder facing DUI charges, don’t hesitate to hire legal representation. With the right lawyer on your side, you can negotiate the charges and potentially remove or reduce the penalties you are facing. Call our law firm today at 330-296-8000 for more information and to learn how we can help you.

What Are the Penalties of a DUI for Commercial Drivers?

If you are a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder in Ohio, being charged with a DUI has more significant penalties than it does for those with a standard license. Ohio law states that operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence is a first-degree misdemeanor and refusing to submit to BAC testing can mean additional penalties.

If you are convicted of a DUI, penalties can include:

  • Loss of commercial driving privileges. In Ohio, a first-time conviction typically results in a one-year loss of CDL privileges. If the vehicle you were driving was transporting hazardous materials, that suspension could be increased to three years. And if you are convicted of a DUI a second time, your CDL privileges will be revoked for life.
  • Jail time and fines. A DUI is a first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to 180 days in jail and over $1,000 in fines and penalties.
  • Temporary CDL suspension. If you have any alcohol in your system, your CDL is automatically suspended for 24 hours. If you are arrested for a DUI or OVI, your CDL is automatically suspended for 90 days. If you refuse a chemical test, your CDL will be suspended for one year.

In other DUI cases, individuals can apply for temporary or restricted driving privileges during suspension. However, this is not the case for CDL holders. You may be able to seek limited driving privileges for your personal vehicle but not for a commercial vehicle.

What is an ALS?

ALS stands for civil administrative license suspension. If you are found driving under the influence but not yet convicted of a DUI or OVI, you will be issued an ALS. This suspension only affects your CDL but allows you to drive your personal vehicle on a temporary permit.

If you are issued an ALS, you do have the option to challenge it within 30 days. To challenge the ALS, you will have to attend a hearing and prove that you did not refuse a chemical test, did not have a BAC at or over the legal limit, or that the traffic stop itself was unlawful. If one or more of these factors is true, the judge may reverse the ALS. However, this can be a complicated process, and it’s much easier to defend yourself from an ALS with legal representation.

Do CDL Holders Have to Notify Their Employers About a DUI?

If you are arrested for a DUI, you must notify your employer immediately. Because you cannot operate a commercial motor vehicle after an arrest for a DUI, you will not be allowed to drive your vehicle back to your workplace or your home. Your employer may have to contact someone else to remove it and move it to a safe location.

You also cannot work if your CDL is suspended or revoked. Driving a commercial vehicle without a CDL is illegal and can increase your employer’s liability and your chances for additional criminal charges. Your employer will likely put you on suspension until the case is worked out or you get your CDL back. However, if your workplace has a zero-tolerance policy, there is a chance that you could be let go.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

Being charged with a DUI or OVI as a CDL holder can have severe implications. These charges can impact your job, income, and driving privileges. Our team can review your case and potentially negotiate your charges to reduce or even remove the penalties against you. For more information, call Weisenburger Law Offices, LLC at 330-296-8000.

Related Articles