What Happens to Your CDL License if You Get a DUI?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense with far-reaching consequences, especially for commercial drivers. In the world of transportation and logistics, where reliability and safety are paramount, a drinking and driving charge can jeopardize not only one’s driving privileges but also their livelihood.  


Here, our attorneys at Stechschulte Nell Law walk you through what happens to your Commercial Driving License (CDL) after a driving under the influence charge including:  


  • What can disqualify you from holding a CDL license 
  • Florida DUI penalties for commercial drivers 
  • How you can beat a Florida DUI as a truck driver and keep your CDL 



CDL Licenses & DUI: What Can Disqualify You 


If you’re a commercial driver, you’re probably already aware that holding a Commercial Driver’s License carries additional responsibilities and rules. 


One regulation is the stringent stance on DUI offenses including:  


  • Being under the influence of alcohol. Although someone driving their own vehicle might legally be able to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of up to 0.08%, commercial drivers are held to a higher standard. If you’re operating a commercial vehicle in Florida, the BAC limit is only 0.04%. That’s half of what’s normally allowed. 


  • Being under the influence of a controlled substance. Remember, just because a drug may be legal or prescribed doesn’t mean you can use it while driving a commercial vehicle. If a drug impairs your ability to drive safely, DUI charges could result. 


  • Refusing to take an alcohol or impairment test as required under Florida’s implied consent laws. When you receive a CDL, you give consent to submit to these tests. Refusing to do so can lead to immediate disqualification. 


  • Leaving the scene of an accident. Regardless of who was at fault or why the accident happened, leaving the scene before law enforcement arrives can also lead to disqualification. 


Keep in mind that these aren’t the only reasons you could lose your CDL in Florida. However, they are some of the most common causes related to drinking and driving. 


Florida DUI Penalties for Commerical Drivers 


If you’re a truck driver and end up with a driving under the influence charge, it can have serious ramifications on your CDL status and livelihood if you are convicted.  


Things to consider include: 


  • Immediate Suspension: Your CLD license can be instantly suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles. 


  • Long-Term Consequences: If you’re convicted, expect a suspension for at least a year, and even longer if the vehicle you were driving was carrying hazardous material. 


  • Second Offense Ramifications: A second DUI offense can lead to a lifetime CDL revocation. 


  • Employment Outlook: Beyond license suspension, a DUI conviction can seriously jeopardize job prospects with many transportation companies. 


It’s essential to take a driving under the influence charge seriously and seek immediate legal counsel. Protecting your rights and appealing for license reinstatement may be possible with the right guidance. 


How We Defend DUI Charges for Truck Drivers 


At Stechschulte Nell Law, we understand the immense implications a DUI conviction can have on your career as a commercial driver. Losing your CDL is more than just losing a license; it’s losing your way of life. This is why we dedicate ourselves to defensively protecting your rights.  


Our approach to defending commercial drivers against these charges is all-encompassing, leveraging several potential legal strategies to fight the case against you, which commonly include:  


#1. Procedural Mistakes 


We scrutinize the exact procedures carried out by the police. Any potential inaccuracies or non-compliance with the law can provide a solid defense. 


#2. Breathalyzer Errors 


We focus on the technicalities involved with breathalyzers, questioning their calibration, operation, or handling as a possible source of errors. 


#3. Improper Field Sobriety Test Conduct 


We evaluate how field sobriety tests were carried out. Missteps by law enforcement could weaken the case against you. 


#4. Lack of Probable Cause 


We challenge whether law enforcement had a legitimate reason to pull you over, as a lack of probable cause could lead to your charges being dismissed. 


#5. Medical Conditions 


Certain conditions could affect the readings of a breathalyzer. We take a detailed medical history to see if this could be a valid defense for you. 


We understand every case is unique, as are the circumstances surrounding them. By providing a comprehensive defense, we aim to reduce the severity of the consequences you face, possibly even seeking a dismissal under certain circumstances.  


If Your CDL License is On the Line, Experience Matters 


When your CDL license is at risk due to driving under the influence, having experienced legal representation can make all the difference in protecting your livelihood and future opportunities. Here, our dedicated DUI lawyers, led by Florida Board-Certified Trial Attorney, Ben Stechschulte, understand the complexities of these cases and will work tirelessly to defend your rights.  


You can trust our proven track record of success in defending commercial drivers facing drinking and driving charges. Contact us today for experienced legal representation you can count on. Call 813-280-1244 or fill out our FREE online consultation request form.  


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