All DUI/OVI Defendants Face
Extremely Serious Consequences

Unfortunately, CDL Drivers Face More Serious
Consequences Than Most DUI/OVI Defendants.

Including the Loss of a
Commercial Driver License.

Even On A First Offense

Fortunately, I May Be Able to Get
Your CDL Suspension Dismissed

Find Out More Details Below...

License Suspensions for CDL Drivers in DUI Cases

Administrative License Suspension (ALS) When an Ohio CDL driver is Operating a Commercial Vehicle at the time of the DUI Arrest

Ohio Revised Code section 4506.15 states that it is a criminal offense to drive a commercial vehicle in Ohio while having a measureable or detectable amount of alcohol or of a controlled substance in the person’s blood, breath or urine. If an Ohio driver has a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and is arrested for a DUI/OVI/drinking and driving offense while driving a commercial vehicle, the police officer, sheriff’s deputy or state highway patrolman will generally ask the Ohio CDL driver to submit to a chemical test. If you have an Ohio DUI case, you should consider talking to a top Ohio CDL DUI lawyer to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The penalties on these pages only apply to drivers who are convicted of DUI/OVI. An experienced Ohio CDL DUI lawyer may be able to prevent that from happening.

If the Ohio CDL driver refuses to take the DUI/OVI breath test, Ohio law governing commercial driver’s license provides for the following mandatory sanctions: (a) the Ohio CDL driver will immediately be placed out-of-service for a twenty-four-hour period; (b) the Ohio CDL driver will be disqualified from operating a motor vehicle for one year; and (c) the CDL driver must immediately surrender his Ohio commercial driver’s license to the police officer conducting the DUI investigation and arrest.

If the Ohio CDL driver takes the chemical test and submits a DUI/OVI blood alcohol sample equal to or greater than .04, Ohio law governing commercial driver’s license provides for the following mandatory sanctions: (a) the Ohio CDL driver will be disqualified from operating a motor vehicle for one year; and (c) the CDL driver must immediately surrender his Ohio commercial driver’s license to the police officer conducting the DUI investigation and arrest.

In either of the scenarios outlined above, if the CDL driver refuses to surrender his commercial driver’s license pursuant to the officer’s instruction, the CDL driver faces an additional criminal charge that is a first degree misdemeanor with potential penalties of six months in jail and $1000 in fines.

Finally, if an Ohio CDL driver who is driving a commercial vehicle submits a DUI blood alcohol test of greater than 0.00 but less than .04, he will immediately be placed out-of-service for a twenty-four-hour period. In addition, the CDL driver can be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree for Driving a Commercial Vehicle with a Detectable Amount of Alcohol or Drugs in his System, a misdemeanor of the first degree punishable by six months in jail and a $1000 fine.

Administrative License Suspension (ALS) When an Ohio CDL Driver is Operating a Non-Commercial Vehicle at the time of the DUI/OVI Arrest

When an Ohio CDL driver is not operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, the general provisions of Ohio Revised Code 4511.19 and 4511.191 apply. Therefore, if the CDL driver refuses to take a DUI/OVI chemical test, he faces a mandatory one-year license suspension imposed by the Ohio BMV that includes his ability to operate a commercial vehicle in Ohio. If the CDL driver takes the chemical test and submits a DUI/OVI blood alcohol sample equal to or greater than .08, he will face a mandatory ninety-day Ohio DUI license suspension that includes his ability to operate a commercial vehicle in Ohio. In either scenario, the driver must immediately surrender his license to the police officer conducting the Ohio DUI investigation and the suspension starts immediately.

Driving Privileges for CDL Drivers under Suspension

The court may grant driving privilege so that a CDL driver may drive a non-commercial vehicle during his license suspension. However, the privileges will never include the ability to drive a commercial vehicle while the driver is under any type of suspension in Ohio. Ohio Revised Code section 4506.161 specifically sets forth that courts do not have the power to issue driving privileges for commercial purposes while an Ohio CDL driver is under any type of DUI suspension.

Appeal of an Administrative License Suspension in a CDL DUI Case

In limited circumstances, the Ohio CDL driver may appeal the administrative license suspension (ALS). If the appeal is successful, the court will vacate the ALS and the CDL driver will have his Ohio CDL reinstated with full driving privileges.

CDL DUI Defense Strategy to Terminate a Commercial Driver’s ALS

Jeremiah Denslow recognizes that a drinking and driving license suspension can have serious consequences for anyone, however, they have the biggest impact on Ohio’s commercial drivers. That’s because a CDL DUI carries the most significant penalties of all. While everyone starts out with a one-year administrative license suspension for refusing to take a breath test, or testing high, most Ohio DUI defendants can get driving privileges to and from work during their one-year suspension. That doesn’t work for commercial drivers. Ohio law does not permit CDL holders to utilize driving privileges to drive a commercial vehicle. That means when a commercial driver is charged with a CDL DUI and an ALS, the CDL driver is out of work for a full year if the driver doesn’t have the help of a top Ohio CDL DUI lawyer.

Fortunately, the law allows CDL drivers to challenge the ALS suspension through an ALS appeal. A good CDL DUI lawyer will file an ALS appeal for one of the following reasons: (1) whether there were reasonable grounds to believe the Ohio commercial driver and CDL DUI suspect was impaired or under the influence at the time of the incident; (2) whether there were reasonable grounds to believe the Ohio commercial driver and CDL DUI suspect was driving at the time of the incident; (3) whether there were reasonable grounds to believe that the Ohio commercial driver and CDL DUI suspect was on a public roadway or parking lot; (4) whether the Ohio CDL DUI incident occurred in Ohio; (5) whether the Ohio commercial driver and CDL DUI suspect refused to submit a breath sample; (6) whether the Ohio CDL DUI suspect submitted a breath, blood or urine sample above the legal limit; and (7) whether the Ohio CDL DUI suspect was read the current Ohio BMV 2255 warnings prior to taking/refusing the breath, blood or urine test.

Top CDL DUI attorneys can appeal on other grounds as well so long as the DUI attorney can frame the argument using one of the above-referenced categories. For example, many law enforcement agencies use old and outdated BMV 2255 forms when following procedures for administering an ALS suspension. When the law enforcement agency uses an old form, the officer is providing the DUI CDL suspect with outdated information. When the old form contains outdated and incorrect information relating to the length of the suspension or the consequences of a refusal, the CDL DUI suspect isn’t being properly informed and can’t make a knowledgeable decision on whether to submit to the test or refuse it.

Thus, when law enforcement administers a breathalyzer to an Ohio commercial driver using a 2010 version of the BMV 2255 form, the warnings given to the CDL driver will be incorrect because the law has changed since 2010. Numerous courts agree that when a commercial driver is erroneously advised of the consequences of refusing or testing above the legal limit, the CDL holder’s refusal or consent is involuntary. That means the chemical test or breathalyzer would be inadmissible against the CDL DUI suspect. When a top Ohio CDL DUI lawyer uses this same strategy in an ALS appeal, the administrative license suspension will often be terminated and the CDL returned to the Ohio CDL DUI suspect.

Please keep in mind, this is just one strategy that a good CDL DUI lawyer can use to get a commercial driver back on the road. But there are many others. The strategy outlined above is good for some cases, but certainly not all of them. Each case is different and each strategy will be based upon the facts and circumstances of that particular case.

Common Mistakes in Ohio CDL DUI Investigations

No Ohio CDL DUI arrest is perfect and the best Ohio CDL DUI lawyers are aware of this fact through their own work experience. Most Ohio CDL DUI cases include a number of witnesses, including police officers and the personnel who collect, store and test blood, breath and urine samples.  These witnesses are human and they are fallible. In addition, most Ohio CDL DUI investigations include a breathalyzer or other technical equipment that is not always maintained according to current Ohio CDL DUI regulations.

Award-Winning Ohio CDL DUI Representation

There are over 1 million laws in the United States. I am a top Ohio CDL DUI/OVI defense lawyer who devotes his entire practice to ONE. Because of my experience and concentrated focus, I know the Ohio CDL DUI laws better than most lawyers in the state. I am passionate about Ohio CDL DUI defense and I get results, however, I only accept a limited number of clients. If you’re serious about your case and want a top Ohio CDL DUI lawyer at your side, call me, Jeremiah Denslow at 1-844-DUI-DUDE or 513-268-4000. I only do DUI defense but I do it in every court in Ohio, no matter how close or how far.

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