Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) With A DUI On Your Record
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in the past and hope to obtain a commercial driver’s license, you may be wondering, can you get a CDL with a DUI? There is still a possibility that you may be able to get your Commercial Drivers License (CDL) even if you have a DUI on your record. However, finding work with a company that requires a CDL might be more difficult. A large number of businesses are hesitant to hire someone who has been convicted of a DUI in the past, especially if the conviction was recent. Some employers check out your driving record throughout the previous three years.
If there is a DUI on your record during the past 3 years, then there is a good chance the company you are applying to work for won’t hire you. On the opposing end, some companies may hire you after a year of having first-time DUI charges on your record. You need to speak with someone in management at the company to find out what the regulations are. In some states, your CDL will be in suspension after the DUI. You can still apply for a CDL after a DUI conviction once the suspension of your license is lifted. As with most legal situations, information varies with each state’s governing law(s). However, if you’re facing commercial DUI charges in Nevada, do not wait. It’s highly recommended that you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help defend you against these charges and protect your reputation.
What Is A Commercial DUI In Nevada?
According to NRS 484C.120, a commercial DUI in Nevada is when someone who has a BAC level between 0.04% and 0.08% is driving or in control of a commercial motor vehicle on any highway that the public can access. Non-commercial drivers typically include:
- Bus drivers (including party buses);
- Truck drivers (including Big Rigs and semi-trailer trucks); and
- Shuttle drivers
The 0.04% BAC limit for commercial drivers is significantly lower than the 0.08% limit for non-commercial drivers, meaning that a commercial driver with a BAC of just 0.07% could be arrested for DUI when a non-commercial driver in the same situation would likely go free. However, it’s worth noting that even commercial drivers with a BAC below 0.04% can still be arrested on suspicion of DUI if they appear to be impaired by alcohol or drugs. Not to mention that in the event that commercial drivers who are not intoxicated yet have some alcohol in their bodies at 0.04 percent of blood concentration are stopped and ordered off the road, a law enforcement officer may issue them a 24-hour restriction to remain off the highway.
Consequences For Commercial DUIs In Nevada
A DUI has several consequences, one of which is that your insurance premiums will be higher and you’ll likely need SR-22 Insurance. SR-22 (sometimes called a certificate of insurance) is liability vehicle insurance most state DMVs require for “high-risk” policies as part of reinstating your license. Additional penalties for commercial DUIs in Nevada include the following:
First DUI Offense In Nevada
The Nevada punishment for commercial DUI varies depending on whether it is a first or subsequent offense. A first-offense DUI is considered to be a misdemeanor DUI, and if convicted, the individual may face:
- Either 48-96 hours of community service or two days to six months in jail
- Between $400 and $1,000 in fines
- A 90-day suspension of an existing non-commercial driver’s license
Second DUI Offense Within Seven Years In Nevada
Those convicted of commercial DUI in Nevada for the second time within seven years will face the following penalties:
- Between 10 days and six months in jail
- A fine of between $700 and $1,000
- A one-year suspension of an existing non-commercial license
The courts may order the offender to appear before a victim impact panel, go through DUI school or enter a treatment program for substance abuse for either a first or second conviction. In addition, if the offense took place in a work zone, fines can be as much as doubled.
Third DUI Offense Within Seven Years In Nevada
Anyone convicted of a third DUI within seven years in Nevada will face the following penalties:
- A sentence of from one to six years in state prison
- A fine of $2,000 to $5,000
- A three-year suspension of an existing non-commercial license
How To Get A CDL License With A DUI On Your Record
So, can you get a CDL with a DUI? Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a license to operate, your driving record will be taken into consideration by employers. A DUI charge on your record may not stop you from getting licensed, but it can limit job opportunities.
Being honest is always the best policy, especially when applying to a truck driving school. They will find out about your DUI during their background check which includes requesting access to your driving record. If you’re unsure whether or not to include something on your application, err on the side of caution and list it anyway. Oftentimes, questions will ask if you’ve “ever” been charged with a DUI; even if it was 20 years ago, include it in your answer. You may still face obstacles that prevent you from obtaining your CDL depending on your criminal history, but being truthful about your past will present you with the best opportunity to get your CDL with a DUI.
The Bigger Challenge For CDL Holders
The most challenging part of regaining or maintaining your CDL status may be finding work in the sector. Many employers demand that any company truck drivers hold a clean driving record. In instances where firms do allow people with convictions on their records, many are restricted by insurance rules that forbid drivers with convictions within three years before their hire date.
However, to meet the rising need for drivers, some employers are offering training and positions to those with DUI convictions. These companies understand that a proactive approach to recruitment and retention is key, so they offer programs to help convicted drivers get their CDLs. Part of their strategy is also identifying that, after a set amount of time working for the company, it will cover the costs of additional training without expecting reimbursement from the driver. So, can you get a CDL with a DUI? The answer is yes, and more and more companies are willing to do so.
The Increased Expectation For CDL License Holders
The CDL is a much more stringent form of driver’s license. For example, drivers with these licenses are permitted a blood alcohol level of only 0.04, which is half of what the general public is permitted. This is not just for when you’re driving for work; this is something that applies to all drivers, regardless if they operate their own automobiles or not. While this may appear to be a harsh penalty, ensuring the public’s confidence in the transportation sector is as essential as maintaining the safety of all members of society who use the roadways alongside our commercial drivers.
Recovering From A DUI Conviction
If you have been convicted of a DUI offense and require a commercial driver’s license for your career, your process to secure CDL certification may be readily identified by your local jurisdiction. However, a conviction may also impact insurance needs as you work through the procedure. Check with an insurance provider; high-risk driving policies such as SR22, FR44, SR50, or SR55A coverage may be required. Luckily, our experienced DUI defense attorney has helped drivers in very similar circumstances and can help you defend your reputation. Contact the Spartacus Law Firm today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.