I have previously written about the consequences associated with being charged with or convicted of a DUI. While those consequences are obviously less than ideal, the ramifications of being convicted of a DUI if you have a Commercial Driver's License ("CDL") are much more severe, especially if you use that CDL to make a living. In Pennsylvania, a CDL is required for a driver to operate any commercial vehicle. Such vehicles include semi-trailers, buses, and HAZMAT vehicles. Depending on the type of vehicle the driver wants to operate, there are a number of different classifications of CDL.
Following legislation passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 2005, the punishments following a DUI for a CDL driver were increased. In addition to the usual consequences associated with a DUI as outlined in previous posts, punishments for CDL drivers include the following:
- A one year suspension of the driver's CDL (three year suspension of HAZMAT license)
- If convicted of a second DUI (both occurring after 2005) the driver's CDL license will be suspended for life.
- If the driver refuses chemical testing at the time of the stop, his CDL will be suspended for one year.
- If the driver refuses chemical testing for a second time (both occurring after 2005) the driver's CDL license will be suspended for life.
- It is worth noting that if a driver accepts entrance to the ARD program, it will be treated as a conviction for the purpose of future CDL suspensions.
While a DUI can be costly to the average citizen, the penalties are especially stiff on CDL holders. If you are facing a DUI charge, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at our Pittsburgh law firm, Gusty A. E. Sunseri & Associates, for help. However, if you make your living with your CDL, it is even more important to speak with an experienced attorney and discuss all of your options in order to protect your livelihood.