An OVI has greater impact if you have a CDL

Sep 18, 2020 | traffic violations for commercial driver's license holders

You more than likely worked hard to get your CDL, and that license is your livelihood. One mistake could jeopardize it, and considering the current state of affairs here in Ohio and across the country, it could have a significant impact on your professional life and your financial situation.

When it comes to the rules, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration holds drivers with a CDL to a higher standard. For this reason, it is crucial that you understand how the rules regarding OVI apply to you and your CDL.

The rules regarding an OVI with a CDL

Being pulled over and suspected of OVI is a disturbing experience for most everyone, but if you have a CDL, it will most likely cause additional anxiety for you. Whether the following information serves as a reminder for you or is relatively new information, it couldn’t hurt to review it:

  • Instead of a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% being the legal limit as is the case for non-CDL drivers, your BAC cannot exceed 0.04%.
  • If an officer suspects you of OVI and you refuse to participate in a blood alcohol test, the FMCSA considers this an admission of guilt.
  • If officials charge you with OVI, you face a longer suspension of your CDL than other drivers would for their regular licenses.
  • It does not matter whether you were in your personal vehicle or driving a big rig, you must inform your employer within 30 days.
  • Your employer cannot give you work as long as your CDL is suspended or revoked.
  • You could have trouble securing employment in the future if convicted of OVI.

The simplest way to look at the above is not to drink alcohol and then drive. Of course, life is often not quite that simple. If you do get pulled over on suspicion of OVI, you may want to take action as quickly as possible to protect your rights and your CDL.

Not only do you face the usual criminal penalties associated with a conviction for OVI but also the ramifications that apply specifically to your CDL. Consulting with an attorney experienced not only in the defense of individuals accused of drunk driving but also with the rules and regulations that apply to your CDL may help you find the best possible outcome to the situation.