For Pennsylvania commercial drivers (CDL holders), a DUI can jeopardize their careers and livelihood. There are enhanced penalties for CDL drivers who are convicted or plead guilty to a DUI when in a commercial vehicle. One of the very most common misconceptions is that if the DUI happens in a CDL driver’s personal car off company time, then nothing can happen to their CDL license. This is utterly untrue. This is why it is important that you have accurate information about the situation at hand.
- The normal minimum BAC rate for a DUI in Pennsylvania is .08. However, for a CDL driver while in a commercial vehicle the rate drops to .04. Furthermore, a BAC between .04 and .159 is treated as a “High Rate” DUI which is the second tier, normally for those who have a BAC between .10 and .159. This means that a CDL driver will be facing mandatory jail time even for a first offense. Please see Pennsylvania DUI First Offense and Pennsylvania DUI Second Offense for more details.
- A first time conviction will result in a 1 year suspension of a CDL license (3 years if it was in a HAZMAT vehicle). A second conviction will result in a LIFETIME CDL ban. IF YOU ARE A CDL HOLDER< DO NOT ACCEPT ARD (the first timer program) AS YOU WILL LOSE YOUR CDL FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR.
- Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) is not a viable option for CDL drivers because it will not reduce the suspension of their CDL license. Many attorneys wrongfully advise CDL drivers to opt for the ARD program but this is bad advice. The only way to avoid a CDL suspension is to challenge the case and get a “not guilty” verdict, the charges amended, or get the charges dropped.
- Many trucking companies avoid hiring drivers with a DUI on their record. They normal elect to hire a driver with a clean record to reduce their overall liability. This may make it very difficult for a CDL driver convicted of a DUI to find meaningful work. This problem will not go away after a couple years because a DUI conviction will show up on background checks forever.
If you are a CDL driver convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania, you need to find the most experienced and knowledgeable attorney to fight your case. At The McShane Firm, we represent a lot of professionals who need to protect their careers. People who can’t afford to get a DUI- hire The McShane Firm. For a free consultation, call us now at (717) 657-3900.