cdl dui suspension

How does a CDL DUI Suspension Work?

If you drive a commercial vehicle such as a taxi, limousine, truck, or bus and have been charged with a DUI in Washington, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced Washington DUI attorney. A DUI conviction can result in your commercial driver’s license (CDL) being disqualified, placings your livelihood in serious jeopardy and significantly affecting your ability to make a living.

You should always consult an experienced attorney whenever you are charged with any moving violation as serious as a DUI, especially if you hold a CDL. The laws governing CDL holders are much more strict and the consequences of a conviction can be much more severe than they are for ordinary drivers.

A knowledgeable and experienced DUI attorney may be able to get your DUI charge reduced or dismissed. Please contact Bugbee Law Offices at (509) 337-5082 for a consultation. We will be happy to discuss your defense.

Commercial Driver’s LICENSES & DUI

The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for operating a commercial vehicle is much more stringent than for operating a non-commercial vehicle. This is because commercial vehicles tend to be larger and heavier than non-commercial vehicles and, thus, pose a greater danger to other vehicles and drivers on the road. Another reason is that commercial vehicles often carry hazardous materials, thereby posing a greater risk of a catastrophic accident.

Under Washington DUI law, it is illegal to operate a non-commercial vehicle with a BAC at or above 0.08%. On the other hand, operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of only 0.04% can result in a DUI conviction.

If you are not driving your commercial vehicle, but instead are driving a non-commercial vehicle, such as your personal automobile or motorcycle, you will be held to the same BAC limit as an ordinary driver (0.08%). So, the 0.04% BAC limit only applies if you are a CDL holder and you are driving a commercial vehicle.

DUI Consequences for CDL Drivers

Regardless of whether you are driving a commercial or non-commercial vehicle, if you are a CDL holder and are convicted of a DUI, you will be subject to a 12-month disqualification of your CDL. What’s more, if you are convicted of a second DUI, whether you were driving a commercial or non-commercial vehicle, you will be subject to having your CDL permanently disqualified.

Furthermore, refusing to participate in a test for blood alcohol content is illegal and carries a 12-month disqualification of your CDL. Moreover, if you were carrying hazardous material at the time of your arrest, your CDL will be disqualified for 3 years.

Avoiding a Disqualification of Your Commercial Driver’s License

You must act quickly to preserve your chances to keep your commercial driver’s license. Here are the necessary steps you need to take:

  1. Request a hearing with the Department of Licensing (DOL) to challenge the disqualification.
  2. Be sure to submit the request within 7 days of your arrest or receipt of notice of your suspension. File too late and you may lose the opportunity to challenge the disqualification and your CDL may be disqualified automatically.
  3. Contact an experienced Washington DUI attorney.

How the DUI Attorneys at Bugbee Law Offices Can Help

If you hold a commercial driver’s license and have been charged with a DUI, we can help. We understand how important it is for you to maintain your CDL. In commercial DUI cases, we fight aggressively for our clients to get the charges reduced or dismissed and to protect their livelihoods.

Our Spokane, Washington DUI attorneys will carefully scrutinize every aspect of the case to identify any potential mishandling, errors, or violations of your constitutional right by the police, as well as, any effective grounds to challenge the disqualification of your CDL.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Washington, contact Bugbee Law Offices, P.S. today at (509) 337-5082, or send us a message via our contact page to schedule a free consultation where we can develop a strategy to help you keep your CDL.

Office Located at:

1312 N Monroe St, Ste 147, Spokane, WA 99201 |  View Map


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
© 2016 Bugbee Law Offices, P.S.