CDL Complications: Getting a DUI While Off-Duty
No person can work 24-hour days, seven days each week, every week of the year. CDL holders are no different. Although they work seemingly tirelessly to keep our nation’s economy running smoothly, delivering truckload after truckload of our daily necessities, truck drivers have home lives as well. Also, just like a large portion of the world population, occasionally on their time off, they would like to sit down to enjoy an alcoholic beverage. However, if a CDL holder is off-duty and gets pulled over in their personal vehicle, the results vary from other DUI charges.
Commercial Vehicle vs. Non-Commercial Vehicle
If a driver is not working, perhaps with a day or two off, truck drivers often drive their personal vehicle. Does it make a difference if you were caught driving while using your work vehicle versus using other transportation? The company whose vehicle is in operation during the finding of a DUI may have harsher punishments for the accused, however, to the state of Illinois, it makes no difference. A CDL is a type of licensure used for highly trained individuals, and to maintain the prestigious license, those holding them have a higher standard to uphold in all aspects of driving. Conviction of a "major" driving offense such as drunk driving potentially automatically disqualifies a CDL, which then, in turn, removes commercial driving privileges.
If you are a commercial driver, your livelihood depends on your driving abilities. Once your license is suspended, revoked, disqualified, or canceled, you must tell your employer about your new licensure standing within one business day of receiving your notification from the Secretary of State. Offenses break down into four chargeable categories, of which, DUI is in the "major" category. With this level of categorization, a conviction leads to a CDL disqualification for one year, or three years if the shipment in the truck contained hazardous materials. Offenses considered to be "major" include:
- Alcohol related offenses,
- Fleeing the scene of an accident,
- Committing a felony using a commercial vehicle,
- Negligent operation of the commercial vehicle resulting in death, and
- Operating a commercial vehicle with an invalid CDL.
The great Benjamin Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In DUI cases, it is significantly easier to prevent the occurrence of conviction with the assistance of a proven attorney than to attempt to change the outcome after the verdict announcement. Your livelihood and that of your family depend on your driving capabilities. Do not let the state take it from you without a fight. If you are interested in discussing your defensive strategy with an aggressive and experienced Maywood, IL CDL defense attorney, contact Stringini & Garvey, P.C. today by calling 630-834-9595 to set up your free initial consultation. With over 65 years of experience, we can walk you through this situation while defending your future in the courtroom. We offer 24-hour availability to our clients in Maywood, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Bloomingdale, and all surrounding Chicagoland areas.