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Commercial Driver License (CDL) and DUI - Washington State

Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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A Commercial Driver License (CDL) is required to operate large or heavy vehicles. A CDL is necessary to drive vehicles weighing 26,0001 lbs. or more, vehicles hauling trailers weighing 10,001 lbs. or more with a combined weight of 26,001 lbs. or higher, vehicles transporting 16 passengers or more, and vehicles carrying placarded amounts of hazardous materials.

Your CDL is part of your livelihood, and a DUI arrest or conviction will put your CDL in jeopardy.

Commercial Driver License (CDL) and DUI - Washington State

Your CDL will be suspended for not less than one year if:

• You are convicted of a first time DUI offense (RCW 46.25.090(1)(a));

• You are found to be driving a commercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher, or with any measure of THC concentration (RCW 46.25.090(1)(b));

• You are found to be driving a noncommercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, or with a THC concentration of 5.00 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood or more (RCW 46.25.090(1)(b));

• Your refuse to submit to a test or tests to determine your blood alcohol concentration or the presence of any drug while driving a motor vehicle (RCW 46.25.090(1)(e)); or

• Your CDL can be suspended for a variety of other reasons pursuant to Washington State law.

Understand that your CDL can be suspended for a either a conviction for DUI or a positive alcohol or drug test while driving.

Your CDL can be suspended for life if you are convicted of two or more DUIs or other violations that are legal grounds for suspension, including being found to have a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit or other drugs in your system while driving any vehicle. (RCW 46.25.090(2)).

Administrative Suspension of Your Commercial Driver License (CDL)

In Washington the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) and/or the Court can mandate suspension of your CDL and your personal driver license.

After an arrest for suspected DUI, the DOL will suspend your CDL license administratively unless you request a hearing to contest the suspension within 20 days of the date you were arrested, and the hearing examiner decides in your favor. If you do not request a hearing within 20 days, or the hearing examiner does not rule in your favor, your CDL license will be suspended.

Also, the DOL will suspend your CDL for one year or more if it receives a report that you “received a verified positive drug test or positive alcohol confirmation test as part of the testing program conducted under” the federal Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs. (RCW 46.25.090(7)).

Duty to Notify Your Employer

If your CDL is suspended you must notify your employer before the end of the business day following the day of the notice of suspension.

Under federal law, if you are an operator of a Commercial Motor Vehicle, who holds a CDL, you must notify your employer of any conviction for violating a State or local (non-parking) traffic law in any type of vehicle. (49 CRF 383.31(a)). In such instances, you must notify your employer within 30 days of the date of conviction. (49 CRF 383.31(b)).

Defending Against DUI Charges

Between the license suspension, minimum penalties, and the long-term consequences of having a DUI on your record, you need to hire a fierce advocate to defend you against the state’s accusations. There are a number of ways to successfully defend against DUI charges, including the possibility of getting the charges dropped completely or reduced to lesser charges.

Most of the DUI cases we handle at Padula & Associates, LLC are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed entirely. Hiring our experienced DUI defense attorneys can help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

For over 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the people of King County, Snohomish County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive criminal defense services.