How an alcohol or drug offense impacts your commercial driver’s license

Apr 25, 2019 | traffic violations for commercial driver's license holders

A traffic stop for suspected drinking and driving is a precarious position for anyone. For those with commercial driver’s licenses, there is even more on the line. Impaired driving offenses put your CDL at risk, even if you were not on the clock when you were pulled over.

Here are the commercial license disqualification rules Ohio drivers need to know:

Some penalties apply to all vehicles

Several offenses put your CDL in jeopardy even if you are not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the offense. These include:

  • Driving under the influence of a controlled substance
  • Refusing to take a drug or alcohol test during the traffic stop

For any of these offenses, a first-time conviction results in a one-year suspension of your commercial driving privileges. A second conviction is punishable by a lifetime suspension of your CDL.

Different drinking and driving standards apply to commercial drivers

If you take a blood alcohol test while driving your commercial vehicle, there are varying levels of penalties depending on the result. Rather than thinking of only being above .08 BAC, commercial drivers must consider what will happen if any amount of alcohol is in their system.

Any detectable amount of alcohol in your system results in 24 hours out of service. Ohio law attaches a one-year CDL suspension to:

  • A breath test at or above .04
  • A blood test at or above .048
  • A urine test at or above .056

For commercial drivers who transport hazardous materials, penalties are more severe. Most one-year suspensions increase to three years for these drivers.

Commercial drivers who find themselves facing a drinking or drug related moving violation should consult with an attorney who specializes in CDL tickets. With your livelihood on the line, there’s no need to fight these charges alone.