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What happens to my CDL if I am convicted of DUI?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2022 | Drunk Driving

Commercial driver licensees (CDL) are individuals who possess a special driver’s license that permits them to operate commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks, school buses and passenger buses. A driver must pass extra training to obtain this licensure.

Due to this specialized training in Pennsylvania,  CDL drivers have a higher standard and are subject to harsher penalties for crimes such as driving under the influence (DUI).

BAC standards for CDL drivers

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) legal limit is much lower than for non-commercial drivers. The standard minimum is 0.08%. However, for school bus drivers, the limit is 0.02% or higher, and for other CDL drivers, it is a BAC of 0.04%. Individuals who are driving under this level of influence may face the following DUI penalties:

First offense CDL DUI

A first-offense CDL DUI results in a twelve-month license suspension and fines from $500 to $5,000. The convicted driver may also serve two to six months of jail time. If the driver also has an additional “serious traffic infraction” while operating a commercial vehicle, they may face a one-year CDL suspension. If the driver was operating a HAZMAT vehicle, then the CDL suspension increases to three years.

Second offense CDL DUI

For a second offense DUI while in a commercial vehicle, drivers may face license suspension for twelve months and fines ranging from $750 to $5,000. The driver may also face one to six months of incarceration. Most impactfully, the driver becomes disqualified from having a CDL for life.

Overall, CDL drivers convicted of DUI face consequences from the law, their employers and their insurers.