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Can You Get a CDL With a Prior DUI Charge in Idaho?


A commercial drivers license (CDL) can be affected by a DUI charge. When you get pulled over for driving under the influence, you know instantly that your life is about to change. This is because DUI stays on your record for a long time and has life-altering consequences. If you are a commercial driver who drives for a living, it is worse, as you might need to look for a new career path.

Since commercial motor vehicles are large in size and the professional nature of driving them, Idaho law holds the drivers to stricter rules than non-commercial drivers. These strict rules also apply to those looking to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This article looks at whether you can get a commercial driver’s license with a prior DUI charge. Our Boise DUI attorneys can provide more information on this if you consult us.

When Do You Need a Commercial Driver’s License?

In Idaho, a driver needs a CDL if they operate a vehicle weighing more than 26,000 pounds. Drivers also need one if their vehicle carries 16 or more passengers or hazardous materials. Emergency responders and military personnel are sometimes exempted from Idaho CDL requirements.

Vehicles used for personal transportation or recreation are also exempted. Lastly, operators of farm equipment used within 150 miles of the farm are not required to have a commercial driver’s license. In Idaho, you must be at least 18 years old to apply for a CDL and at least 21-year-old to drive a commercial motor vehicle out of state.

What Idaho Law Says About CDL and DUI Charges

In Idaho, the law prohibits commercial motor vehicle drivers from driving with 0.04% blood alcohol content (BAC) or more. Commercial drivers are also banned from driving within four hours after consuming alcohol. As a private driver, you must have less than 0.08% BAC.

If you are arrested as a private driver with .08% BAC or more and get charged with DUI, it will affect your application for a commercial driver’s license. As a commercial driver, if you drive with 0.04% or more, it would amount to a CDL disqualification. The latter would happen even if you were operating a private vehicle at the time.

Also, if you refuse to test for blood alcohol content (a violation of implied consent), you will lose your commercial driver’s license if you already have one. If you are under an employee contract, you need to notify your employer of any DUI conviction within 30 days. Do this regardless of whether or not you were driving a commercial motor vehicle at the time.

Can You Get Your CDL Back After a DUI Charge?

If you get convicted for driving under the influence in Idado as a commercial motor vehicle driver, you will lose your commercial driver’s license for at least a year. This punishment is for the first DUI. If you commit and get convicted for a second offense, you will lose your CDL for life.

In the preceding, there is no chance of getting your CDL back. But for the first, you can get your commercial driver’s license back if you contact our Boise DUI attorneys immediately after the suspension. You will also have to do the following:

  • Pay a DUI reinstatement fee
  • Provide proof you paid the court fines installed on you
  • Fulfill all other requirement imposed by the court

What Are the Consequences of a DUI Charge for Idaho CDL?

There are far more reaching consequences for driving under the influence than CDL disqualification and license suspension. If you work for a trucking company, your employer might remove you from a safety-sensitive function. As an independent contractor, some employers may not want to work with you as you represent a liability.

Furthermore, aside from administrative sanctions, you can also face criminal penalties. The preceding includes jail time and fines. If there is a motor vehicle accident, you will likely face manslaughter charges or vehicular assault with grievous bodily harm.

In addition to the criminal trial, you might face a civil lawsuit from the other party to pay damages. Also, dealing with all the fall out of a DUI charge may affect your income since you drive for a living. All these consequences show that it is better to avoid a DUI charge. But should you find yourself in one, you need a DUI lawyer in Boise.

What Would a Boise DUI Attorney Do For You?

Facing a criminal lawsuit is not an easy thing. You could lose your freedom in addition to your commercial driver’s license. But if you work with one of our DUI defense lawyers from Trilogy Law Group, we can help you get lower punishment. Contact us today for a free case review.