Since commercial driving makes up a large part of Arizona’s transportation economy, 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 Arizona’s DUI laws and regulations.
Understanding DUI regulations becomes important with commercial drivers facing potential career-altering consequences. By staying informed and seeking proactive legal support, CDL holders can go through the process of a charge and protect their commercial driving careers in the truck driving industry across the state.
Can You Get a CDL With a DUI on Your Record?
Anyone can get a Commercial Driver’s License with one DUI on their record. However, they must have completed the original license suspension before applying for a CDL.
The good thing to know is that anyone with a previous DUI conviction is able to get a CDL in Arizona, or any other state for that matter. However, if you have a DUI on your driving record, there are requirements before proceeding with the CDL application process.
Can You Get a CDL With a Suspended License?
Drivers applying for a CDL with an active driver’s license suspension or revocation in Arizona will only have their CDL application rejected or disqualified. A DUI offense in Arizona typically leads to a driver’s license suspension. Once the suspension is up, the driver can apply for a commercial license or CDL after a DUI conviction.
However, information regarding a previous conviction in Arizona or any other state has to be clearly mentioned on the application. Otherwise, it will be up for CDL disqualification. If your Arizona CDL application is complete, 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.
How to Get a CDL in AZ
Aspiring commercial drivers must follow the Arizona CDL requirements to get a CDL license. Firstly, they must meet age requirements, being at least 18 years old for intrastate driving or 21 years old for interstate driving, and have an otherwise valid driver’s license. Secondly, applicants must pass a medical examination to obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, ensuring they meet the necessary health standards for commercial driving.
Next, candidates should study and successfully pass the CDL written knowledge test. This achievement allows them to obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) to practice commercial vehicle driving under the supervision of a licensed CDL holder. Afterward, they must complete CDL skills training and pass the commercial skills test.
Finally, applicants must submit all required documents, including identification, medical certificate, and proof of residency, to their local Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office. Additionally, they must pay the applicable fees for CDL issuance.
How Long After a DUI Can You Get a CDL
You cannot apply for a CDL while your license suspension is still pending. Waiting until the current license suspension period has elapsed is essential to get your CDL after a DUI. Completing the suspension period is a prerequisite for applying for a CDL license in AZ.
Once the suspension is over, the MVD will no longer consider it a reason to deny your CDL application. It is crucial to adhere to this waiting period to ensure a smooth and successful CDL application process. After serving the suspension, you can apply for and get your Commercial Driver’s License in Arizona.
Severe Consequences of a DUI in Arizona for Commercial Drivers
A DUI (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and/or Alcohol) is considered a grave legal matter in Arizona. When charged with DUI, the severity becomes even more pronounced for truck drivers holding a CDL. Commercial Drivers are more responsible for operating large vehicles on public roads, making the offenses even more consequential.
When possessing a CDL, a DUI conviction can lead to severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol counseling, probation, and jail time. These consequences can directly impact the ability of CDL holders to continue their commercial driving careers. Also, commercial drivers charged with a DUI often face immediate termination, leading to a major disruption in their livelihood.
Furthermore, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates, CDL holders must inform their employer within 30 days of a DUI conviction, regardless of whether it occurs in a personal or commercial vehicle. Compliance with this requirement is crucial for adhering to federal guidelines and maintaining transparency with employers.
Getting a DUI Offense with a CDL
The legal limit 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 motor vehicle in Arizona is 0.04% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). There is also a DUI with CDL in a personal vehicle, wherein 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 can also be suspended for a period of up to 90 days. The driver will also be required to meet other requirements, like mandatory alcohol counseling, probation, jail sentence, etc.
So no matter what vehicle a commercial truck driver is in, a first-time DUI conviction will result in a one-year driving privileges suspension of their CDL. A second offense DUI will result in a lifetime CDL suspension. If the first DUI conviction were before the driver received a CDL, their second DUI would still result in a lifetime suspension of their CDL, even if it is their first DUI as a commercial driver. These state laws apply to all commercial license holders, whether 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 the potential for much harsher penalties than a normal DUI charge. As the consequences are significant, employers take commercial DUIs very seriously.
Because of insurance rates and policies, commercial driving employers have very little leeway for traffic violations, particularly DUIs. 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 driving record, creating problems when getting a job that requires a CDL for at least several months, if not years.
Having a DUI on your record as a commercial driver can lead to immediate termination and tarnish your reputation within the industry. It can be challenging to find new commercial driving jobs after a DUI. This often takes considerable time to rebuild trust and credibility.
Beyond the loss of CDL privileges, a DUI can affect personal finances, reputation, and mental well-being. The financial burden of fines, legal fees, and potential increased insurance costs can be overwhelming. Moreover, dealing with the emotional and professional repercussions of a DUI can be highly stressful, affecting the driver’s mental health and overall quality of life.
Given the far-reaching consequences, it is essential for CDL drivers facing a DUI charge to seek immediate legal representation. A knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney can help craft a solid defense, explore options for sentence reduction or alternative penalties, and support individuals in their efforts to mitigate the impact of a DUI on their career and future prospects.
Free initial consultation from the Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan is the best direction for more information on the effects of a DUI on your CDL. Contact us at 480-900-0384 or 602-900-0384 for a free consultation to protect your rights and future today.
Defending A CDL Driver with 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.
A skilled Attorney’s expertise will meticulously analyze the evidence, challenge inconsistencies, and uphold your rights throughout the legal process. Drawing upon their in-depth knowledge of laws and experience handling similar cases, the attorney will build a strong defense tailored to your situation.
You gain legal representation and peace of mind by hiring a top-rated Defense Attorney’s services. Their guidance and support will ensure you are well-informed at every step. With their commitment to defending your rights, you can confidently face the challenges of a commercial DUI case, knowing that you have a skilled advocate.