An Illinois DUI Is Devastating for Commercial Drivers

Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than non-commercial drivers-and for good reason. They are generally required to drive larger vehicles, farther, for longer periods of time and often with dangerous or precious cargo.

For those reasons, the requirements for a commercial drivers license (CDL) are stricter and the punishments for violations are more severe. For example, a DUI conviction for a commercial driver can be absolutely devastating. Illinois state law, adopted from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, gives commercial drivers only two chances before a full revocation when it comes to impaired driving.

Under Illinois statute, a commercial driver will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for no less than 12 months for any of the following:

  • Refusing to submit to a drug or alcohol blood test, even if the commercial driver is driving a non-commercial vehicle
  • Operating a CMV with a blood alcohol content of 0.04 or any amount of cannabis or methamphetamine in the bloodstream
  • Operating a non-commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit or with any amount of cannabis or methamphetamine in the blood stream
  • Knowingly leaving the scene of an accident
  • Driving any vehicle while committing a felony
  • Driving a CMV while driving privileges are suspended, cancelled or revoked
  • Committing vehicular homicide or negligent homicide with a CMV

If any of those offenses is committed while driving hazardous materials requiring a placard, the disqualification period jumps to three years. A second conviction for any of the offenses listed above will seal the deal with a lifetime CDL disqualification. That is an immediate and absolute career killer, impacting a commercial driver's ability to earn a living and support a family.

If you are a commercial driver who has been charged with a DUI offense, you risk losing your license, your livelihood and your entire career. Because the stakes are so high, do not trust your legal representation to just anyone. Contact an experienced CDL DUI attorney immediately to discuss your situation and your options.