Critical Warning for Commercial Driver’s License Drivers About DUIs

Semi truck depicting commercial driver's license

Do you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL)? Do you rely on your CDL for your line of work?

Many people in Michigan hold a commercial driver’s license and use this exclusive license for their job. Without a CDL, there is no job and no way to earn money.

Do you know that, under Michigan law, if you are convicted of any kind of DUI (which, in Michigan, is either called Operating While Intoxicated or Operating While Visibly Impaired), your commercial driver’s license will automatically be suspended for a minimum of one year?

Commercial Driver’s License Rules

For many CDL holders, the reality of this law comes as a surprise only after they have gotten in trouble and may be facing the loss of their license for a minimum of one year.

You might be thinking (as many people do who encounter this rule for the first time) there is a way around the law or surely it doesn’t apply to someone who wasn’t driving a work vehicle at the time of the DUI offense.

I can assure you that there are no workarounds. It is a hard and fast rule. If you get convicted, and you hold a commercial driver’s license, you lose it for at least a year. No exceptions.

It doesn’t matter if it was your first offense. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t driving your work car. Moreover, it doesn’t matter if the incident had nothing to do with your job as a driver.

Lawmakers have assumed you weren’t going to work after drinking. What they are trying to do with this law is deter any CDL holder from ever toying with the line of drinking and driving, period.

Unfortunately, most people with commercial driver’s licenses don’t know about this rule before they get in trouble. Often, after a DUI arrest, a CDL holder is looking at the bleak reality of losing their job as well as their license.

How to Avoid Losing Your CDL After a DUI Arrest

There is no way to avoid losing your CDL for a year after an OWI or OWVI conviction. However, you may be able to avoid the conviction.

If you have been arrested for an OWI or OWVI offense and you hold a commercial driver’s license, this is the time to contact an experienced DUI attorney. You can’t afford to take a plea bargain and lose your job.

An experienced DUI attorney will critically examine every facet of your case to find weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you. He or she will find every possible way to get out of the charges against you.

Hope After Conviction

You may find yourself without options. The prosecutor may have a strong case against you, and there is not always anything you can do about it.

For people who have a long history with a company, there is a surprising amount of grace. There are often ways to keep your job for the year your license is suspended, even if you have to ride in the passenger seat or take a different position for a time.

Michigan DUI Attorney

If this post does anything for some CDL driver out there, it’s to warn you not to ever drink any amount of alcohol and drive, even on your night off.

We understand. Not everyone who has too high of a BAC when pulled over has an alcohol problem. Sometimes, it’s just terrible timing. It’s not worth risking your livelihood. Find a designated driver, call an Uber, or just stay home.

If you are facing DUI charges in Michigan, contact my office today for a free consultation.

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