If you have a Delaware CDL and you were arrested for Driving Under the Influence in the State of Delaware (or in any state for that matter), then yes, you CAN lose your CDL. If you are the holder of a Commercial Driver’s License charged with DUI, you need to take the defense of your case very seriously. Every year, thousands of people find themselves charged with DUI in Delaware – this includes over-the-road truck drivers, local delivery drivers, live haul drivers, bus drivers, dump truck drivers, you name it. So you are not alone if you’re reading this!
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA) requires suspension or revocation of commercial driver’s licenses in certain situations. The MCSIA creates two categories of criminal offenses leading to suspension or revocation of your CDL – “Serious Traffic Violations”, and “Major Violations”.
Serious Traffic Violations are things like excessive speeding (at least 15 miles per hour over the limit), Reckless Driving, Improper Lane Change, Following Too Close, Disregarding a Traffic Device or Signal in a Fatal Accident, Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle without a CDL, and other things. It’s important to know about the Serious Traffic Violations suspension because even though DUI isn’t considered a “Serious Violation”, oftentimes our clients are offered pleas in DUI cases to lesser included offenses such as Reckless Driving.
A Serious Traffic Violation in a commercial motor vehicle can result in CDL disqualification of 60 days if you have a previous Serious Violation in the last 36 months. This disqualification can double to 120 days if you have two prior Serious Traffic Violations in that 36-month time frame. A Serious Traffic Violation in a private passenger vehicle can also result in disqualification of your CDL if the violation results in suspension or loss of your private passenger vehicle driving privileges.
Major Violations are things such as Operating a CMV under the influence of alcohol, operating a CMV under the influence of a controlled substance, an administrative (probable cause) determination of operating a CMV with a BAC of 0.04 or above, operating any motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or higher, refusing to take an alcohol test, leaving the scene of an accident, using a motorized vehicle to commit a felony, negligent operation of a CMV resulting in death, and other offenses. A Major Violation can lead to a one-year CDL suspension, up to a lifetime suspension, depending on the circumstances. You can read more about this on the Delaware DMV’s factsheet titled CMV AND CDL HOLDER DISQUALIFYING VIOLATIONS.
If you are a CDL holder, you should contact an experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorney as soon as you are able after your DUI arrest. A vigorous defense both in Court and in the DMV revocation hearing is needed to help you eliminate or at least minimize the impact of the DUI on your profession and your career. Please contact me for a Consultation if you have been arrested and charged with DUI or a traffic offense in the State of Delaware. I defend CDL holders statewide in drunk driving, alcohol-related, and drug-related criminal and traffic offenses.