A conviction for DUI (driving under the influence) is significant for most people. Between fines, license suspensions, and possible imprisonment, there is no one for whom a DUI is a good thing. For commercial drivers, however, a DUI conviction can be devastating.
If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), your ability to drive is your livelihood. Without a way to protect your CDL after a DUI, you face serious consequences. The good news is you can avoid losing your CDL after a DUI.
Hiring an experienced, local defense lawyer is your best chance at keeping your commercial driver’s license. At Hessler Law, PC, we know how Indiana DUIs affect CDLs. We also know what it takes to protect your license. Contact us at (317) 886-8800, or fill out the online form, to schedule a free consultation today.
BAC Limits for Commercial Drivers
It is important to take note that the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) is lower for commercial drivers than it is for regular drivers. For everyday drivers, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a BAC higher than .08%. Commercial drivers have a BAC limit of.04%. This is typically the equivalent of one alcoholic drink.
DUIs and CDL License Suspensions
Operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 % or higher is a class C infraction in Indiana. Other examples of violations of the same level include:
- Being under the influence of a controlled substance
- Refusing to take a BAC test as required by Indiana’s implied consent laws
- Leaving the scene of an accident
A major offense will result in the suspension of your CDL for one year. This can be extended to three years if you were transporting hazardous materials.
How to Avoid Losing Your CDL?
The best way to protect your commercial driver’s license is to fight your DUI conviction. There are numerous defenses and reasons a DUI charge can be refuted or dismissed. Additionally, you could have your charges reduced. If you can do so, there is less of a chance your license will be suspended or disqualified.
Reinstatement after a CDL Suspension?
If your CDL is suspended or disqualified, that does not necessarily mean that you’ve lost it for good. Reinstating your commercial driver’s license generally requires:
- Proof your suspension period is over
- Payment of all related fines
- Fulfilling all special requirements, such as drug or alcohol counseling, associated with your charge
- Paying your reinstatement fee
If your CDL was disqualified for life, you are eligible to petition to have it reinstated after 10 years of that sentence, but only if you have completed a state-approved rehab program. If you are convicted of another DUI after this reinstatement, however, your CDL will be suspended for life.
An Experienced Lawyer Will Help Protect Your CDL
The best way to ensure your commercial driver’s license is protected during a DUI investigation is to talk to an attorney with experience in navigating Indiana’s DUI laws. Talk to Hessler Law, PC if you’re concerned about losing your Indiana CDL after a DUI.
When your career is centered around driving, your license is something you can’t afford to lose.