If you hold a Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL), your license is how you most likely support yourself and your family. However, as a CDL holder, you also need to understand that the law holds you to a higher standard than other motorists. As a result, DUI charges and their consequences are not only severe, but they place your livelihood at stake.

What are the CDL DUI laws in Pennsylvania?

If you are operating a commercial vehicle in Pennsylvania, you cannot drive with any alcohol in your system. Even though for non-commercial vehicle drivers the legal limit is .08,.as a commercial driver, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 or more can put you in the state’s high-impairment category.

If you are operating a school vehicle, which includes not only school buses, but school vans and any vehicle leased, owned, or rented by the school district, a BAC level of .02 can place you on Pennsylvania’s High Impairment Tier.

Additionally, CDL holders may still face these violations even if they are off duty and operating their own car.

What are the CDL DUI penalties?

If you are convicted with a CDL DUI while in a commercial vehicle, and it is your first offense, you can face the same penalties as any other person convicted of a DUI. However, as noted above, the BAC restrictions are tighter, and you may also face additional penalties such as:

  • Loss of your CDL for 1 year for a first offense
  • A permanent loss of CDL for your second offense.
  • A dramatic increase in personal and professional insurance rates.

What Can I Do?

Thankfully, just because you were arrested for a DUI, it does not mean you will be convicted. As individuals who rely on their license for their career, it’s important to be aware of all DUI laws and how they apply to CDL holders. More importantly, it’s wise to consult an experienced DUI attorney if you have further questions regarding your status as a CDL holder