Can I Lose My Commercial Driver’s License for a DUI in Arizona?

can you lose your cdl for dui -- commercial truck on the road

Can I Lose My Commercial Driver’s License for a DUI in Arizona?

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Everyone knows that driving a car, motorcycle, or truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Arizona. The same is true for those who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and drive for a living. In fact, DUI penalties for a commercial driver can be much steeper than the penalties for a DUI with a regular driver’s license. Can you lose your CDL for a DUI? Absolutely. Let’s talk more about Arizona’s DUI laws for commercial drivers. 

How can someone in Arizona lose their CDL?

Arizona residents with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) have certified their ability to drive certain types of large vehicles. Obtaining a CDL requires passing both a knowledge test and a medical exam. Bus drivers, cargo truck drivers, and delivery drivers all need to have a valid CDL.  

Just like a standard driver’s license, a judge can revoke a CDL in certain situations. Under Arizona statute 28-3312, a driver can have their CDL suspended or revoked for any of the following crimes: 

  • Two or more serious traffic violations over three years
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Using their vehicle to commit a felony
  • Sex trafficking
  • Driving on a revoked CDL 
  • Violating railroad crossings
  • Refusing to take a blood or Breathalyzer test during a DUI investigation

Can you lose your CDL for a DUI?

In addition to the list above, a commercial driver can also lose their CDL because of a DUI conviction. In Arizona, the legal blood alcohol limit for regular drivers is 0.08%. However, the alcohol limit for commercial drivers in Arizona is only 0.04%. 

CDL holders with a first time DUI conviction face a Class 1 misdemeanor with potential penalties including:

  • Suspension of their CDL for one year
  • Suspension of their normal driver’s license for 90 days
  • Up to 10 days in jail
  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • Mandatory alcohol and substance abuse counseling classes

How can you get a CDL with a DUI?

It is possible to apply for a CDL with a DUI on your record. However, you must first complete all the terms of the DUI suspension before applying for your commercial drivers license. Failure to do so will result in your CDL application being automatically rejected. 

It’s important to note if you have one DUI conviction on your record, obtain your CDL, and then get another DUI, you will never be able to reapply for a CDL in Arizona. And, a commercial driver who racks up a second DUI could lose their CDL for life.

Understanding Arizona CDL and DUI Laws

While a DUI conviction on a standard driver’s license can have a negative impact on your quality of life, a DUI on a commercial driver’s license is profoundly worse. Not only does a DUI conviction carry heavy fees and suspend your everyday license, it also means a company can no longer employ you as a commercial trucker for at least a year. This can have far-reaching ramifications not only for you, but for your family as well. 

If you find yourself facing a DUI with a CDL, call certified criminal law specialist Todd Coolidge today at 602-795-0770 in Phoenix or 480-264-5111 in Chandler. We will hear your DUI case and walk you through your options for securing the best possible outcome. 

Photo by Zetong Li on Unsplash

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