Getting charged with an OWI is bad enough, but what happens when you are charged with an OWI while maintaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)? A CDL is a special driver’s license that allows the license holder to operate commercial vehicles that a normal license holder would not.
Due to the special nature of holding a CDL, CDL drivers are commonly held to higher standards than regular drivers. While regular license holders are considered intoxicated if their BAC is .08 or higher, a CDL holder would only need to test at a BAC of .04 or above to be charged with OWI. When a CDL holder is charged with an OWI, he typically faces harsher consequences. While most OWI convictions involve some sort of license suspension, the CDL holder will not only face a license suspension from the court, they would also be subject to a potential one year disqualification of the CDL through the Feds. CDL holders are also not afforded the luxury of refusing any requested chemical tests. While some regular license holders may benefit in certain situations by refusing a breath or blood test to determine their BAC, a CDL holder does not enjoy such a scenario, as they may be facing disqualification of their CDL if they refuse a requested chemical test.
While a CDL holder may be eligible to petition for Specialized Driving Privileges (SDP), those privileges would only apply to the accused driving non-commercial vehicles; he still would not be allowed to drive his commercial vehicle with only SDP. He would have to have his CDL fully reinstated prior to driving a commercial vehicle again.
In order to avoid these costly scenarios, please contact Suhre & Associates, LLC to learn what your options are.