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CDL Truck Drivers and DUI

Effective 2005, any person driving a non-commerical vehicle but possessing a CDL charged with Ohio DUI / Ohio OVI will result in CDL sanctions. For instance, being charged with Ohio DUI / Ohio OVI in your private vehicle will be just as detrimental to your CDL as if you were driving your commercial vehicle.

You wil be placed out of service for 24 hours and then court and/or BMV sanctions may kick in depending upon your record

Sometimes it is better, much better, to take a test if you are a commercial driver and hold a CDL

Beware, that effective 2005, DUI arrests in private vehicles will impact your CDL. Make sure you lawyer completely understands the 2005 CDL amendments.

Current Issues (2006) for CDL and Ohio DUI / OVI laws:

CDL OVI laws apply to private vehicles being driven by CDL holders

On 08-17-06, Ohio law expanded the testing period from 2 hours to 3 hours. However, legislature forgot to amend the CDL statute so it remains a 2 hour window (NOTE: this will eventually get amended with little or no notice)

Refusing a blood / breath / urine test in a commercial vehicle results in a 1 year CDL disqualification. Also, commercial refusals are separate crimes (Ohio R.C. 4506.15(A)(7))

A Second Refusal (in a lifetime) is a lifetime CDL disqualification

The Ohio BMV is currently disqualifying CDL prior to disposition of DUI cases (for a positive test or refusal). Appeals need to be made under O.R.C. 4506.17 and request a hearing.

CDL Disqualifications

As of January 30, 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) started requiring that all drivers with CDLs must supply certain renewals and documentation. Each state that licenses commercial motor vehicle drivers must obtain un-falsified documentation from drivers.

According to the FMCSA,

The FMCSA has established 0.04% as the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at or above which a CDL commercial motor vehicle operator who is required to have a CDL is deemed to be driving under the influence of alcohol and subject to the disqualification sanctions in the Federal regulations. Most States have established a BAC level of .08% as the level at or above which a person operating a non-commercial motor vehicle is deemed to be driving under the influence of alochol.

After a traffic violation, such as a DUI arrest, a CDL driver is required to report this to their employer within 30 days. In the same way, the driver must notify their employer if their right to drive was revoked or suspended due to a traffic violation such as having a BAC over .04 percent. If an employer is aware that one of their drivers has been arrested or their license has been suspended due to DUI, it is against the law to use them. The FMCSA also details the penalties for major offenses, serious traffic offenses and other types of offenses. For example, a driver's first major violation is punishable by a one-year disqualification. For drivers of vehicles carrying hazardous materials, the disqualification is three years.

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