What Happens to My CDL If I Get a DUI/OWI in Pennsylvania

If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and you receive a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) conviction in Pennsylvania, it can have serious consequences for your CDL. Pennsylvania, like many other states, has strict regulations governing CDL holders and their responsibilities regarding alcohol-related offenses. Here’s what typically happens if you get a DUI or OWI in Pennsylvania as a CDL holder:
  1. License Suspension: Your regular driver’s license will be suspended for a specific period of time based on the nature of the DUI/OWI offense and whether it’s your first, second, or subsequent offense. This suspension is usually imposed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and may be more severe for CDL holders than for non-commercial drivers.
  2. CDL Disqualification: If you are convicted of a DUI or OWI while operating a commercial vehicle or your personal vehicle, your CDL will be disqualified. The length of the disqualification period will depend on the offense and whether it’s your first or subsequent conviction.
  3. First Offense: A first-time DUI or OWI conviction while operating any vehicle can result in a one-year disqualification of your CDL.
  4. Subsequent Offenses: If you have a prior DUI/OWI conviction and are convicted again, your CDL disqualification period will be much longer, possibly resulting in a lifetime disqualification.
  5. Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Levels: CDL holders are often held to stricter standards regarding BAC levels. Even a BAC below 0.08% can result in a CDL disqualification if you are found to be driving under the influence.
  6. Refusal to Submit to a BAC Test: Refusing to take a BAC test can also lead to CDL disqualification.
  7. Limited or Conditional License: Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for a limited or conditional license that allows you to drive for essential work-related purposes. However, this may require the installation of an ignition interlock device.

It’s crucial to note that the specific penalties and consequences can vary depending on the circumstances of your DUI/OWI, previous convictions, and the discretion of the court and PennDOT.

Can You Get a CDL With a DUI in PA?

In Pennsylvania, you can still obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) after a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) conviction, but there will be certain restrictions and limitations, and it may be more challenging to do so. The exact requirements and procedures for obtaining a CDL after a DUI conviction in PA can vary, so it’s important to consult with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and follow their guidelines. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Time Period: There is a waiting period after a DUI conviction before you can apply for or obtain a CDL. The length of this waiting period will depend on the specifics of your DUI offense and any prior convictions.
  2. Compliance with Penalties: Before applying for a CDL, you must have completed all court-mandated penalties, such as license suspension, fines, probation, and alcohol education programs.
  3. Criminal Record: A DUI conviction can remain on your criminal record for a significant amount of time. Potential employers and the Department of Transportation will likely consider this when assessing your eligibility for a CDL.
  4. CDL Restrictions: If you are granted a CDL after a DUI conviction, you may face certain restrictions, such as a requirement for an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, a limitation on the type of commercial vehicle you can operate, and additional drug and alcohol testing.
  5. Multiple Convictions: If you have multiple DUI convictions, especially within a short timeframe, you may face longer waiting periods and more severe restrictions when attempting to obtain a CDL.
  6. Compliance with DOT Regulations: The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) also has regulations governing CDL holders and their eligibility concerning DUI offenses. Compliance with these regulations is crucial.

Keep in mind that a DUI conviction can have long-term consequences on your CDL eligibility and your career as a commercial driver. Call our office Today at 610-450-4555 if you have been convicted of DUI in PA.