Even ARD for a DUI can endanger your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Hi, Im Matthew Mobilio, founder of Mobilio Law.  In this blog post I’m going to talk a little bit about the enhanced penalties in Pennsylvania for CDL holders.

In Pennsylvania, if you are a first time DUI offender you may be eligible for entrance into Pennsylvania’s “Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition” or ARD program.  Successful completion of the ARD program allows for reduced periods of the mandatory license suspensions, among other things.  For instance, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .99 or below will result in no license suspension if you complete the ARD program but only for a non-commercial driver’s license.

If you are watching this video then you probably know that in order to be permitted by the state to drive certain types of vehicles, such as a tractor trailer, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license or “CDL”.  A CDL is a special type of license that has a special set of rules and penalties when it comes to driving under the influence.   When it comes to a DUI received by a CDL holder, Pennsylvania applies the bolstered punishments of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (“MSCIA”).  For example:

  • A conviction on a DUI charge where the violation occurred on or after September 30, 2005, will result in a one year suspension of the driver’s CDL (three years for HAZMAT);
  • A conviction on a second DUI where both violations occurred on or after September 30, 2005, will result in a lifetime CDL disqualification;
  • A refusal to submit to chemical testing for the purposes of determining blood alcohol content occurring after September 30, 2005, will result in a one year suspension of the driver’s CDL (three years for HAZMAT); and
  • A second refusal to submit to chemical testing where both refusals occurred after September 30, 2005, will result in a lifetime disqualification.

Most importantly for this article, entrance into ARD is treated as a conviction on a DUI charge for purposes of determining the CDL suspension.  Accordingly, entrance into an ARD program will result in a 1 year CDL suspension even at the lowest BAC level of .08.

If you have questions regarding how a DUI might affect your CDL, contact me today for a free consultation.