If you have been arrested for DUI in Spokane, Spokane Valley, or Northern Idaho, contact us right away. We are experienced DUI attorneys and have helped many people keep their license and their job.
DUI on a CDL
A commercial driver’s license (CDL) in the State of Washington is governed by the Uniform Commercial Driver’s License Act that’s found at RCW 46.25.005, et seq. It’s a remedial law that’s liberally construed to protect the health, safety and welfare of others who are on or around the same roadways that commercial vehicles use. A driver can lose his or her CDL for committing certain serious traffic violations or specified offenses under the statute, even if those violations or offenses occurred on his or her own personal time while operating their own non-commercial passenger vehicle.
.08 or .04?
Having a CDL is contingent upon having a valid non-commercial Class “A” license. If you’re in your personal vehicle, and breath testing results in a blood alcohol content of .08 or over, or if you refuse breath testing, the Washington Department of Licensing is going set a hearing for purposes of seeking to suspend or revoke your underlying Washington driver’s license. That blood alcohol level drops down to .04 when a driver with a CDL is operating a commercial vehicle. Assuming the DOL prevails in that hearing, you’ll have no CDL for a year on a first offense. On a second offense, you’re disqualified from having a CDL for life. That’s why it’s extremely important that any driver with a CDL contact us right away after a DUI arrest. We don’t want to see you and your family suffer the consequences of you being put out of work while having to pay costly fines and other expenses attendant to a DUI. Interlock ignition devices or occupational licenses for the disqualification period of a CDL are out of the question. The law simply doesn’t allow them.
Reducing the DUI to reckless driving
Based on several factors, a DUI charge might be reduced to a charge of reckless driving that’s commonly called a “wet reckless.” If you plead guilty to that, and you’ve been found guilty of a serious traffic violation within the last three years, you’re looking at a 90 day CDL disqualification. If you’ve been convicted of two or more serious violations in the past three years, it’s a 120 day CDL disqualification.
A person charged with negligent driving is accused of an even lesser offense than reckless driving. Aside from a dismissal or not guilty verdict on a DUI, this might be the second best alternative for a person with a CDL. Although a plea or finding of guilty to negligent driving is classified as a serious offense, no CDL disqualification results.
If you hold a CDL license, it’s important that you contact us right away after an arrest for a free consultation and case evaluation on a DUI anywhere in the State of Washington. The most important things that we can do for you are to help you keep your CDL and your job.