What impact may an off-duty DUI have on a CDL

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2023 | DUI |

Commercial drivers in Pennsylvania adhere to stricter laws for driving under the influence.

If you are a CDL holder in the state, even a DUI in your personal vehicle while off-duty could negatively impact your career.

License suspension

License suspension is the most devastating consequence for CDL holders following a DUI. If convicted, you could lose your CDL for a minimum of one year. During that time, you could not continue a career as a commercial driver, and people often struggle to find jobs after getting their licenses back.

Blood alcohol content levels for CDL holders

The laws are more strict for commercial drivers than they are for non-commercial drivers, who cannot measure BAC levels over .08%. A CDL holder cannot produce a BAC of over .02%. Having a single beer could put someone over the limit. As a CDL carrier, this law would still apply to you even when off-duty and driving a non-commercial automobile.

Penalty levels for commercial drivers

Pennsylvania law uses a tiered system for DUI penalties for CDL and non-commercial cases. A first-time offender with a high impairment, meaning .04 or higher, may face up to six months of jail time, a $5,000 fine and a suspended license for one year. Second-time offenders face a one-year license suspension, up to $10,000 in fines and up to six months in jail. Any convictions beyond that could result in a permanent CDL suspension.

An arrest for DUI is not the same as a conviction. If you face a DUI charge, you still have a chance to fight it in court.