DUI Survival Guide - Commercial Driver's License Concerns
In Michigan, commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) are issued by the Michigan Secretary of State pursuant to strict federal regulations. CDLs must adhere to a different set of rules when it comes to operating their commercial vehicles. Their commercial licenses can also be at risk while driving their personal vehicles.
A conviction for certain crimes will be counted against a commercial driver’s CDL even if it is committed in a noncommercial vehicle.
It is important for a CDL holder to get proactive from day one; your career depends on the outcome of your DUI case.
While operating a commercial vehicle, a driver’s blood alcohol content must not be above 0.04 percent or he or she is guilty of drunk driving. MCL 257.625m(1).
A blood alcohol content above 0.015 will result in an out-of-service order and prevent the driver from driving for 24 hours. MCL 257.319d(2), (4). A violation of the out-of-service order is a 93-day misdemeanor.
If a CDL holder is convicted of drunk driving in a noncommercial vehicle, he or she will also lose the CDL for at least 1 year. If a driver’s operator or chauffeur’s license is suspended or revoked, the CDL is concurrently suspended or revoked, unless the period of CDL loss is greater.
In Michigan, convictions are not required for the Secretary of State to take action on a CDL. The Secretary of State can consider bond forfeiture, a determination by a court of original jurisdiction, or a finding by an authorized administrative tribunal as convictions for purposes of suspensions or revocations of the CDL.
It is also important to note that to qualify for a CDL, a prospective licensee must not have a suspension or revocation on his or her driving record for at least 3 years. Also, a 6-point violation in the prior 24 months will also disqualify a prospective CDL licensee. MCL 257.312f(5)(b). This is important to consider when counseling a client about license sanctions if that person may decide in the future to pursue a career where a CDL is necessary.
Former NYC & Michigan Prosecutor