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DUI Laws For CDL Drivers

Last updated on October 20, 2023

Ohio Laws – DUI And Commercial Drivers

If you have a CDL (commercial driver’s license), there are a whole different set of rules for you to live by. If you don’t follow these rules, you just cost yourself your career.

CDL Information In Regard To Driving Under The Influence

Numerous changes to the CDL law went into effect on July 1, 2005, regarding CDL drivers and driving under the influence of alcohol convictions. If you hold a CDL, you may be interested in the following information regarding your CDL if you are involved with a operating under the influence of alcohol charge.

Your CDL is your livelihood. If you have a problem with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles regarding your license or CDL, you should seek the assistance of an attorney who is committed & knowledgeable in traffic law.

For a free consultation with an experienced Cleveland, Ohio criminal defense lawyer, call me right away at 866-361-4522. Or, if you prefer, send me an email and I will respond to your inquiry in a meaningful way.

The following is information about Ohio Statutes and rules governing commercial drivers and DUI charges:

DUI-OVI While Operating In Your Private Vehicle:

  • If at the time of your arrest, you test over the .08 limit or refuse to submit to a chemical test, your operator’s license will be suspended by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) by an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) for a minimum of 90 days on a first test over the limit or for one year on a first refusal within six years.
  • While you are under this suspension, the court MAY NOT grant you occupational privileges to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • You have the right to appeal this suspension within thirty days. If the officer did not follow the proper procedures, the breath testing machine was not properly maintained, the test was not properly administered, etc, the court may terminate the ALS. If the court finds that the officer acted properly, the court will uphold the suspension, but may grant you occupational driving privileges for non-commercial driving only. The court may NOT grant ANY driving privileges for 15 days on a first test over the limit or 30 days on a first refusal within six years.
  • If you appear in court and ask for occupational driving privileges, you may be giving up your right to appeal the ALS and challenge the suspension itself.
  • If you are convicted of DUI for either alcohol or drugs in your private vehicle, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will impose a one-year disqualification of your CDL privileges. The suspension notices attorneys have been seeing have been sent out about six months after the conviction and impose a one-year suspension running after a six-month suspension by the court for the DUI. You may and should appeal the disqualification imposed by the BMV.
  • If you have a DUI conviction that occurred while you had a CDL or a conviction after September 30, 2005, and have a second DUI conviction, the BMV will impose a LIFETIME disqualification.

DUI- OVI While Operating A Commercial Vehicle:

  • If you operate a commercial vehicle with a discernible amount of alcohol in your system, you will be placed out-of-service for twenty-four hours.
  • A commercial DUI consists of operating a commercial vehicle: a) Under the influence of alcohol (regardless of the alcohol level), b) With an alcohol level of .04 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath or a comparable blood or urine, or c) Under the influence of drugs.
  • If you are arrested for DUI and are asked to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine and after being warned as provided in division (C) of this section or submits to a test that discloses the presence of a controlled substance, an alcohol concentration of four-hundredths of one per cent or more by whole blood or breath, an alcohol concentration of forty-eight-thousandths of one per cent or more by blood serum or blood plasma, or an alcohol concentration of fifty-six-thousandths of one per cent or more by urine, the person immediately shall surrender the person’s commercial driver’s license to the peace officer. (OH HB337)
  • Upon receipt of a sworn report from a peace officer, the registrar shall disqualify the person named in the report from driving a commercial motor vehicle for the period (1) Upon a first incident, one year; (2) Upon an incident of refusal or of a prohibited concentration of alcohol after one or more previous incidents of either refusal or of a prohibited concentration of alcohol, the person shall be disqualified for life or such lesser period as prescribed by rule by the registrar. (OH HB337)
  • If arrested for DUI and you refuse to submit to a chemical test requested by a police officer, it is a first-degree misdemeanor offense, whether you are ever charged with DUI from the incident or whether or not you are convicted of DUI from the incident.

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