Since commercial driving makes a large part of the state’s transportation economy in Arizona, many drivers holding a commercial driver’s license are attracted to it. However, anyone holding a previous DUI conviction in any state must familiarize themselves with the DUI laws and regulations in Arizona. The thing to know is that anyone with a previous DUI conviction can still get a CDL (Commercial Driver License) in Arizona, or any other state for that matter. However, they must have completed the original license suspension before applying for a CDL.
Drivers applying for a CDL with a currently suspended, or revoked license in Arizona will only have their CDL application rejected. A DUI offense in Arizona typically leads to the driver’s license suspension. Once the suspension is up, the driver can apply for a commercial license. However, information regarding a previous conviction in Arizona or any other state has to be clearly mentioned on the application, otherwise it will be rejected. If your CDL application is complete and forthright, a previous DUI won’t stop you from getting a CDL. Excluding details of the DUI offense will only result in a rejection, no matter how long ago it happened.
Getting a DUI with a CDL
The legal limit allowed for driving in Arizona is 0.08% for normal motor vehicle drivers. However, commercial drivers have higher safety expectations, so the legal limit allowed for driving a commercial vehicle in Arizona is 0.04% BAC. In case the commercial driver holder is driving a personal vehicle, then the 0.08% BAC level will apply. In any case, a first offense DUI will result in a one-year suspension of their CDL, whether they were driving a commercial vehicle or a smaller personal vehicle. Moreover, the driver’s normal license will also be suspended for a period of 30 to 90 days. The driver will also be required to meet other requirements, like mandatory alcohol counseling, probation, jail sentence and so on.
So no matter what vehicle a commercial driver is in, a first-time DUI conviction will result in a one-year suspension of their CDL. A second offense DUI will result in a lifetime CDL suspension. If the first DUI conviction was before the driver received a CDL, their second DUI will still result in a lifetime suspension of their CDL, even if it is their first DUI as a commercial driver. These DUI laws apply to all commercial license holders, whether it is Class A, Class B, or Class C.
CDL Penalties in Arizona
A DUI received in a commercial vehicle is considered a class 1 misdemeanor and carries heavier fines and penalties than a normal DUI charge. As the consequences are significant, employers take commercial DUIs very seriously.
Commercial driving employers have very little leeway for traffic violations, particularly DUIs because of insurance rates and policies. As a result, even a single DUI can change someone’s entire career. Most employers will simply fire a commercial driver who gets a DUI on their record, creating problems for future employment opportunities for them, at least for several months.
Defending A Commercial DUI
With the right defense, all angles of a DUI case can be explored. A DUI charge is not an open and shut case. A number of areas have to be explored to get the best possible outcome. An experienced DUI defense attorney can work to get your sentence reduced, or have the charges dropped altogether.