Youngstown OVI lawyer Sean Logue will tell you that getting an OVI when you’re a CDL-licensed driver is a very bad thing. The penalties that come along with a conviction are very harsh and can result in the loss of employment for the driver.
If you are a CDL-licensed driver and your BAC (blood alcohol content) is above the legal limit or if you refuse to participate in chemical testing, you are required to immediately surrender your CDL license. If you refuse to do so, you will be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree.
If you do submit to testing and your BAC is below .04 percent, you will immediately be placed “out of service” for 24 hours. If you refuse to participate in testing or your BAC is above .04 percent, your CDL license will be suspended for a year, if it’s your first offense.
If this was your second time being stopped for OVI and you failed the BAC test (i.e. your blood alcohol content was over .08 percent), you will lose your CDL license permanently. This part of the law was enacted on January 27, 2012 and applies even if your offense was committed in another state.
In addition to these penalties, once you go to court, you will face others, like a suspension from driving any motor vehicle at all.
Implied Consent and a CDL License
Just like any other driver, a CDL holder agrees, by signing to accept his license, to submit to chemical testing of his blood, breath, or urine any time a police officer or state trooper requests it of him. The law states, in Section 4511.191 of the Ohio Revised Code, that if the CDL holder refuses, he will receive an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) and he will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
Because of this additional consequence, it is imperative that a CDL holder who has received an ALS files an appeal within 30 days of his initial court appearance on the OVI charge. The only way to prevent being disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle is to get the ALS reversed. Even if the driver is acquitted of all charges, if he has not successfully appealed the ALS, he will remain disqualified.
The first time it happens, the driver’s disqualification will be one year in length. The second time is for life, unless the United States transportation secretary and director of public safety change the rules.
Legal BAC Limit for CDL Licensees
The legal BAC limit for CDL drivers is lower than that of the general population of drivers. For a CDL holder, the legal limit is half that of every other adult … 0.04 percent. Even if a commercially-licensed driver wasn’t actually driving when arrested for OVI, he can receive a year-long ALS.
A CDL can be suspended for several things.
- Refusing to submit to chemical testing results in a one-year suspension
- Being under the influence of a controlled substance gets a driver a one-year suspension.
- Having a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher results in a one-year suspension.
- Using your commercial truck, bus, or other vehicle in the commission of a felony will also get a driver a one-year suspension.
If the driver happens to be driving a vehicle that has placards indicating his load is hazardous materials, he will be suspended for three years.
Driving Suspensions and CDLs
If a CDL driver receives an ALS, he is not allowed to be granted work-related limited driving privileges if that means the work is driving a commercial vehicle. You may be granted limited driving privileges so you can get to court, the doctor, school, or work, but that work cannot be driving a commercial vehicle.
Because disqualifications are required by federal law, they can’t be shortened, changed, or cancelled.
Second OVI Convictions for CDL Holders
Under most circumstances, if you get a second OVI conviction, you will lose your CDL for life. The only times that changes are as follows:
- A 1st Out of Service violation: 90 day suspension
- 2nd Out of Service Violation: 1 year
- 3rd Out of Service Violation: 3 years
Sean Logue is a Youngstown OVI lawyer with experience and the tenacity to fight for you and your rights. (330) 625-9199