How a Single Beer Can End Your CDL Career

CDL Drivers Face Harsh Penalties for Pennsylvania DUI
CDL Drivers Face Harsh Penalties for Pennsylvania DUI

If you make your living behind the wheel, a DUI conviction will be more than an inconvenience, an expense, and an embarrassment on your record. It may also be the end of your career. For that reason alone, if you are the holder of a Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”), it is absolutely essential that you understand how a DUI conviction may affect your future. More importantly, you should know exactly what you can do about it NOW, before your case is finalized and it may be too late.

The first thing you need to know is that for holders of a CDL, who are driving in their commercial vehicle, the legal limit for BAC is much, much lower than for a normal driver – at 0.02%. Or, to put it in real-world terms, that’s basically the B.A.C an average, 180-pound man would have after drinking a single beer. Yes, you read that right. Just one beer. And it only gets worse from there. If you drive a school vehicle, that one beer will land you in the “High Impairment” category – a school vehicle driver with a B.A.C. of 0.02% automatically lands in that higher category, and faces stiffer penalties.

For other CDL license holders, not driving a school vehicle, a B.A.C. of .04% — or about two beers — will put you in the “High” category.

But what about ARD? You don’t need a DUI lawyer to enroll for ARD, right? Sure, if you don’t care about your CDL at all. But you do. You need your driver’s license and your CDL. Bear in mind that as a CDL license holder, enrollment in ARD brings with it a minimum 12-month CDL disqualification if it is a first offense (even if you go into ARD) in addition to the normal license suspension period for a conviction or ARD placement. This means you could lose your CDL for up to two years depending on the facts and the outcome of the DUI. This is crucial to understand, because an attorney who doesn’t know what he or she is doing or if you try to do it yourself can result in a CDL disqualification for a long time.

If this is a second DUI or you have a prior serious traffic offense, then you face a lifetime ban for your CDL! That’s right, two DUIs will mean a lifetime ban of your CDL! That’s why you have to fight.

If you drive for a living, and your license is suspended, that means a total change in lifestyle. Add that to the higher fines you’ll likely have to pay, an increased insurance rate and maybe even jail time, and the potential damage a DUI conviction can do to your life really is frightening.  Furthermore, you may face real problems getting hired after your suspension because many trucking companies won’t hire a driver with a DUI on their record. That’s why, if you’re a CDL license holder and you’ve been accused of DUI, your best option bet is to talk to an attorney right now.

The right DUI attorney – someone who is both experienced and aggressive – will understand just how important it is for you to keep your license and your livelihood. And more importantly, that person will understand the best way to protect you and your career. If you are a CDL holder and you’ve been accused of DUI, you owe it to yourself to contact a qualified DUI attorney as soon as possible. It could be the best career move you will ever make.  For a free case consultation please call us now at: 1-866-McShane.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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