Yes, any driving under the influence conviction will make you ineligible for a commercial driver’s license. The length of ineligibility will depend on the type of DUI conviction.
Any Driver’s License Suspension Leads to 36 Months of CDL Eligibility
For starters, any type of driver’s license suspension or revocation will make you ineligible for a CDL for 36 months (3 years).
Two of the most common DUI charges carry a driver’s license suspension. The standard DUI charge, operating while intoxicated, carries a 30-day driver’s license suspension. Operating while intoxicated with a high BAC carries a 45-day driver’s license suspension. So a conviction for either of these two offenses means you cannot apply for a CDL within 3 years from the date of conviction.
Also, both of these convictions result in the addition of 6 points to your driver’s license. A person receiving any 6-point driving offense will be ineligible for a CDL for 36 months. This is an alternative way in which these standard OWI convictions make you ineligible for a CDL.
Operating While Visibly Impaired
A conviction for operating while visibly impaired, another common drinking and driving offense, will make you ineligible for a CDL for 24-months. This is a year less than the ineligibility from the OWI or OWI-High BAC. A person convicted of operating while visibly impaired receives no driver’s license suspension, only driver’s license restrictions.
Operating while visibly impaired carries only 4 points, as opposed to 6 points.
The Reality of a DUI Conviction for a CDL
A conviction for any drinking and driving offense will always be on your criminal and driving record. These types of convictions can never be expunged. This means an potential employer for a commercial driver will see you received a DUI at some point, even if you have a current valid CDL.
A DUI conviction could be a job-killer for those interested in driving a commercial vehicle. If you have been charged with a DUI and have a CDL or wish to begin a career driving commercially, do not simply go into court and plead guilty. Have a lawyer look over the charges to see how you can fight them. A DUI conviction can have a life-long impact because it will always be on your record. It is worth your time to see if you can fight the charge and keep your record clean.
Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.