How do DUI Laws Affect Someone with a CDL?

How do DUI Laws affect someone with a CDL?

When you are arrested for DUI the police will ask you to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. If you refuse or test over the legal limit you will be suspended administratively. This is referred to as an ALS.

The old law used to tell the BMV to wait for a conviction of the DUI before taking action. Now the law has changed and the ALS is the trigger not the conviction. The ALS will cause a one-year out of service disqualification of your CDL on a first offense. A second ALS will cause a lifetime out of service disqualification.

The Court cannot grant driving privileges to drive a commercial vehicle. They can only grant privileges to drive a passenger vehicle. Another complication is that you might have a judge that grants driving privileges for your personal non-commercial vehicle with the restriction of an ignition interlock device.

Before issuing you the letter to drive, the clerk might require you to take a paper to the BMV and obtain a special Interlock License. This will cancel the CDL endorsements on your license. When your suspension is over you will have to reapply for a CDL.

The law also treats people differently if they are in a commercial vehicle when they get arrested. The legal limit is usually .08 for someone over 21. In a commercial vehicle it is .04.
Ohio’s CDL Disqualification is explained in ORC Section 4506.16. Hopefully you have a lawyer on board as soon as something happens. If not, get one a.s.a.p. as time may bar you from any recourse through the appeal process.

A hearing may be requested within 30 days of the mailing of the notice of disqualification. If the hearing is granted the disqualification will be stayed pending the outcome.


  • 4506.16(D)5 Two serious traffic violations within a three-year period = 60 days
  • 4506.16(D)6 Three serious traffic violations within a three-year period = 120 days
  • 4506.15(A)2 BAC of .04% or more = One year
  • 4506.15(A)5 Under influence of controlled substance = One year
  • 4506.15(A)6 Using the commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony = One year
  • 4506.15(A)7 Refusing to submit to a blood, breath or urine test = One year
  • If convicted of any of the above while operating a vehicle placarded for hazardous materials, the disqualification increases to three years under 4506.16(B)6 of the ORC.


  • 4506.15(A)2 BAC of .04% or more = Life
  • 4506.15(A)5 Under influence of controlled substance = Life
  • 4506.15(D) Leaving the scene of a traffic crash = Life
  • 4506.15(E) Using the commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony = Life
  • 4506.15(F) Refusing to submit to a blood, breath or urine test = Life
  • 4506.16(B)4 First time commission of a felony with a controlled substance = Life
  • 4506.15(A)7 First Violation of Out-of-Service = 90 days
  • 4506.16(A)2 Second Violation of Out-of-Service = One year
  • 4506.16(A)3 Third Violation of Out-of-Service = Three years

VIOLATION OF OUT-OF-SERVICE (Transporting Hazardous Materials)

  • 4506.16(B)1 First Violation of Out-of-Service =180 days
  • 4506.16(B)2 Second Violation of Out-of-Service = Three years

NOTE: Under Ohio’s commercial driver’s license law, any person who holds a CDL shall be deemed to have consented to such testing as is required of him/her by any state or jurisdiction. If any level of alcohol is detected, law enforcement can place a commercial driver out-of-service for 24 hours. It is illegal to operate a commercial vehicle with any alcohol in your system.

DUI Case

A Relieved Client

“I went to court thinking I would just get driving privileges and still be under suspension for some time. Rob was able to get the entire ALS suspension waived and most of the court fees waived as well. Was placed under 6 months probation, couldnt have asked for a better outcome. Rob did a phenomenal job. He is very knowledgeable and accessible, and I would recommend him to anyone.”

DUI Case

A Grateful Client

“Rob is very knowledgeable in his area. His expertise and advice were unsurpassed. I not only had extreme confidence in Rob’s ability but was able to put my mind at ease while we went through this process. Rob was able to work with the prosecuting attorney and then get agreement from the Judge to dismiss several charges and plead to a 1st DUI. I cannot express the gratitude I have for Rob. I realize that he is being paid for his service, but his attitude is like none I’ve experienced when dealing with an attorney for this type of matter. He was not judgmental but caring.”