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The Impact Of A DUI On CDL Licenses In Florida


A DUI has serious consequences for anyone, but this especially so for people that drive for a living. Whether you are a rideshare driver or a commercial truck driver, it is important to understand the implications a DUI can have on your license restrictions, insurance premiums and coverage, and future employment opportunities. In Florida, drivers that hold a commercial driver’s license face steep penalties and consequences if they are charged with a DUI and subsequently convicted. Read on to learn more about CDL license restrictions.

Rules for Holding a Commercial Driver’s License 

Commercial driving laws are found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Any driver in possession of a CDL is bound by certain laws and regulations that do not apply to non-commercial drivers. In fact, a CDL driver who is found to have a blood alcohol level about .04, not .08, can be prosecuted. Obtaining a CDL is a lengthy process requiring fees and a training course. Drivers are subject to continuing education requirements and must maintain their licensure in order to continue working in the trucking field. While you may be able to obtain a CDL with a prior DUI on your record, it is often difficult if not impossible to find gainful employment in the commercial driving or trucking industry. In fact, even for delivery and common carrier drivers that operate small trucks, employers won’t extend them an offer of employment if they have a few points on their license, let alone a prior DUI. This is because of the expense and risk involved in insuring a driver with a history of speeding, reckless driving or driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or a controlled substance. 

First or Subsequent DUI Convictions & CDL Licensure 

If you are operating a commercial truck at the time of your arrest, the truck will most likely be impounded, your employer will be notified and you may lose your job. Florida defines commercial vehicles as a truck with a load of more than 26,000 pounds, with a gross vehicle weight rating. Commercial trucks also include large passenger or tour buses or vehicles containing hazardous or caustic substances. These vehicles require a CDL to operate. A driver can be arrested for DUI in Florida if they have a CDL and they blow higher than a .04 BAC on a breathalyzer test. If convicted, the driver faces an automatic one-year commercial license suspension with no opportunity to obtain a hardship commercial license. Suspension is issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).  In addition, because CDL licenses are also governed by the federal law, the driver may also face additional penalties promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA. The FMCSA has the authority to suspend a driver’s CDL license for life. Contrary to popular belief, if a commercial driver is arrested for a DUI in their personal vehicle, it can still affect their CDL license. And, if a commercial driver is arrested for a subsequent DUI, their CDL is revoked for life. Reinstatement after the first offense is also subject to fines and mandatory driver education courses. 

Call Attorney William Wallshein Today

If you or a loved one were arrested for a DUI in Florida, you understand the consequences could be dire if you are convicted. You could lose your job, your license and your income. Your CDL could be revoked for life. Your reputation and relationships are at stake, and you might face time in jail and fines. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do it all yourself or assuming charges will be decreased. You need the assistance of an experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer.  Attorney William Wallshein is a respected lawyer with more than thirty years of experience helping clients like you. He understands what is at stake and works tirelessly on behalf of his clients. Call him today to schedule a free consultation.




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