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How driving drunk could lose you your CDL in Virginia

If you are a commercial driver, you probably appreciate your driving privileges a lot more than most. That’s because your commercial driver’s license is more than just a way for you to get around, it gives you access to a source of income. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to do your job legally, which could mean losing your job and your financial support.

But here at Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White, P.C., we understand that everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes those mistakes are more costly than others, such as driving while intoxicated. As our more frequent readers know, driving while under the influence of alcohol can lead to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. For a commercial driver, this would be a costly mistake indeed.

If you drive commercial vehicles here in Virginia for a living, then you should know that certain DUI convictions can disqualify you from obtaining a CDL for a certain period of time or for life. These DUI convictions are:

  • Refusing to submit to a breath or blood test while operating a commercial vehicle
  • Operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or higher
  • Driving a commercial vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

The disqualification period is one year for any of these convictions, though a commercial driver could lose their CDL indefinitely if they receive a second conviction for any of these and several other violations.

Because the loss of driving privileges is so costly to commercial drivers, it’s important for those drivers here in Virginia to remember that they can fight DUI charges with the help of a skilled lawyer. In some cases, charges could be lessened or dropped altogether, meaning what could have been a conviction that would have disqualified you from obtaining your CDL is no longer a disqualifying factor.

Source: The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, “CDL Disqualifications,” Accessed Nov. 3, 2015

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