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A closeup of a man taking a breathalyzer test.A DUI in your personal vehicle will affect your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).  It does not matter if you are driving a personal vehicle such as a car, van or SUV, a DUI will count against your commercial driver’s license regardless of what you are driving.  For a first DUI conviction, a CDL holder will lose their CDL license for 1 year.  A second offense results in a permanent loss of the CDL.

In a personal vehicle, the prohibited breath, or blood alcohol level is .08.  So if you are driving your personal vehicle and have a CDL you will not lose either license if you take a breath test and blow under a .08.  However, if you have a CDL, even if you are driving your personal car, you will lose your CDL for refusing to take a breath, blood or urine test that has been lawfully requested.  For a first refusal, your CDL will be suspended for 1 year and you will lose it permanently if you refuse and have previously refused a lawful test of your breath, blood, or urine.

Further, if you are arrested for DUI there is a federal law which has been adopted in every state known as the Federal Anti-Masking law.  This law is found in the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”).  Specifically 49 CFR 384.226 states:

  • 384.226 Prohibition on masking convictions.

The State must not mask, defer imposition of judgment, or allow an individual to enter into a diversion program that would prevent a CLP or CDL holder’s conviction for any violation, in any type of motor vehicle, of a State or local traffic control law (other than parking, vehicle weight, or vehicle defect violations) from appearing on the CDLIS driver record, whether the driver was convicted for an offense committed in the State where the driver is licensed or another State.

This means that if you have a CDL and complete a pretrial diversion program which results in the DUI charge being dismissed, you still get a strike against your CDL and lose it for 1 year for a first offense or permanently for a second or subsequent offense.  However, most State Attorney’s Offices will not allow a person with a CDL to enter a DUI Diversion program.

It is also important to note that you do not need to receive a DUI or blow over a .08 to get a strike against your CDL.  However, this only applies if you are driving a commercial vehicle.  When you are driving a commercial vehicle Florida has a zero tolerance law which differs from our DUI statute.  In a DUI investigation, a breath test for evidentiary purposes is only allowed to be given after a lawful arrest.  That is why in Florida officers generally do not use preliminary (roadside) breath test devices when investigating a DUI.  However, when a commercial motor vehicle is involved, Florida law allows the use of a preliminary breath test (“PBT”) device.

Florida’s Zero tolerance law makes it a moving violation to drive a commercial vehicle in this state with any alcohol in the driver’s system at all.  A driver who is found with any alcohol in their system is immediately put out-of-service for 24 hours and receives a citation.

If a commercial vehicle is being driven and the driver has a blood or breath alcohol level greater than or equal to .04 (half the ordinary legal level) they are subject to disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle for 1 year for a first offense and permanently for a second offense.

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Trust the seasoned expertise of Orlando Criminal Team’s DUI defense attorneys. Our skilled legal team knows the ins and outs of DUI law and is committed to fighting tirelessly for your rights. With personalized strategies and a relentless pursuit of justice, we’ll work to minimize the impact of your charge on your life. Don’t let a DUI derail your future. Reach out to us now to start building your defense.