An Illinois DUI and Your Commercial Driver’s License: The Facts
In Illinois, the Secretary of State follows the federal guidelines when it comes to commercial drivers. If your commercial driver’s license is disqualified by the state, you’ll lose your commercial driving privileges, which means your job is on the line. You’re required to report any revocation, suspension, disqualification or cancellation of any of your driving privileges to your employer within a day of your notification from the Secretary of State.
CDL Disqualification Causes
CDL suspensions are often different from standard license suspensions, with regulations harsher when it comes to commercial drivers. The offenses that can lead to a disqualification fall into one of the following categories:
- Major offenses
- Traffic violations of a serious nature
- An offense involving a railroad-highway grade crossing
- Out-of-service order violation
Where Do Alcohol-Related Offenses Fall?
Under both federal and state law, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or higher and refusing to take a breath or blood test are both considered major offenses. Your CDL may be disqualified for a period of one year after your first major offense unless you transport hazardous materials, which calls for a disqualification of three years after a first offense. A second major offense can cost you your CDL for life, but some drivers convicted of DUI may be able to get their CDL reinstated after ten years if they complete an Illinois-approved alcohol program.
Reckless driving or excessive speeding, improper lane changes, and following another vehicle too closely are all held as serious traffic violations. Your CDL can be disqualified for 60 days if you have a second serious traffic violation within a three-year period and for 120 days if you have three violations in a three-year period.
You don’t have to be driving a commercial vehicle to get your CDL disqualified for a serious offense or traffic violation. A major offense committed while you’re in a non-commercial vehicle can also cost you your CDL. Your CDL is also at risk if you commit a serious violation while driving a non-commercial vehicle, but only if that same violation would have gotten you disqualified while you were driving a commercial vehicle instead.
What You Can Do
You will lose your CDL if you test for a BAC higher than 0.04 percent, even if you’re not criminally convicted, if you refuse a test to determine your BAC and if you’re convicted criminally for DUI.
You may be able to contest your CDL suspension with the Secretary of State and fight your DUI charge. Speak to an experienced DUI lawyer in Springfield IL as soon as possible to find out what all of your options are. With your finances at stake, you simply can’t afford to take chances when it comes to your CDL and your employment now and in the immediate future.