Colorado has strengthened drunk driving penalties for individuals holding commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) substantially in recent years, largely due to pressure by the federal government. If you drive a semi, a delivery truck, a bus, or another type of job that requires you to have a CDL, a DUI offense can be fatal to your career. Due to the seriousness of this matter, it is essential that you get strong, experienced legal representation and try to minimize or avoid these types of consequences.
CDL Penalties for Drunk Driving
A driver who holds a CDL actually faces two different license revocations – one for the regular driver’s license, and one for the commercial license endorsement. You will face a revocation of your personal driver’s license if convicted of DUI or DWAI in court, or if you lose your administrative hearing before the Colorado DMV. Additionally, even if you are arrested for DUI while driving your personal vehicle, you still can face a minimum one-year revocation of your CDL, despite the fact that you were nowhere near a commercial vehicle at the time of the offense.
If you drive a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 or more, you will face a one-year revocation of your CDL, even for a first offense. C.R.S. 42-2-126(3)(d). Refusing to take a chemical test upon request also will result in a one-year revocation of your CDL. If the commercial vehicle that you were driving was carrying hazardous materials, you face a three-year revocation. Any subsequent CDL violation can cause a lifetime revocation of your CDL. As these laws make it clear, your CDL is very much at risk if you are accused of a DUI, especially when driving a commercial vehicle. These provisions are almost identical to those that Congress has enacted at the federal level, which has put an emphasis on cracking down on DUI cases involving commercial vehicle drivers.
No Alternatives to a CDL Revocation
Unlike your personal driver’s license, you have no way to continue driving a commercial vehicle following a revocation for a drug or alcohol offense. There is no provisional or restricted driver’s license that you can get under Colorado law for this type of offense. For a personal driver’s license, Colorado law requires the installation of an ignition interlock device for an individual’s driver’s license to be reinstated early. You cannot install an ignition interlock device on a commercial vehicle and you cannot have any restrictions on your personal Class R license in order to hold a valid CDL. Therefore, you simply cannot drive a commercial vehicle during the revocation period or the period of time you hold an interlock restricted license in this situation, which almost certainly will cause you to lose your job if a CDL is required as a condition of employment.
Seek Legal Assistance From Denver DUI Attorneys Today
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a single bad choice to drink and drive to result in substantial limitations on an individual’s ability to drive, and perhaps even on his or her career, if it is based on having a valid CDL. If you or a loved one has been accused of DUI or any variation on that offense, we can provide you with the legal assistance that you need. Contact The Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. today and schedule a consultation so that you can understand your options, consider your situation, and determine how to move forward.