Could a DUI Cost You Your Commercial Driver’s License in Kansas?

If you operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for a living, then you know exactly how important your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is to your livelihood. Without your CDL, you will not just lose just your current job but will lose your career. Too often a holder of a CDL forgets just how easily a CDL can be jeopardized.  As a holder of a CDL, you need to be aware of the serious consequences that drinking and driving can have not only on your driver’s license, but also on your CDL. For any driver a DUI conviction can be an expensive and costly mistake, but for a CDL holder it can be a double whammy.  Keep these facts in mind next time you think of drinking and driving:

  • There are different rules for operating a CMV: In Kansas, motorists who are found to be operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level at or above .08 are considered to be driving under the influence. However, the blood alcohol limit for CDL drivers who are operating a CMV is much lower. CMV operators who have a blood alcohol level at or above .04 are considered to be driving under the influence.
  • There is no slap on the wrist: Do not fool yourself into thinking that the penalties for a first time DUI conviction are just a slap on the wrist. A person operating a CMV (who is required to hold a CDL) will be disqualified from operating a CMV for a period of time not less than one year for being found driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or drugs or have a blood alcohol level at or above .04. This is addition to the penalties and fines imposed by the court for the DUI.
  • It does not matter if you were driving a non-CMV at the time of the DUI: A CDL holder can not only jeopardize his or her license for a DUI conviction while operating a CMV but also if found guilty of DUI or refusing alcohol testing while driving a non-CMV. If a CDL holder is convicted of DUI or found to have a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher he or she will also lose his or her ability to operate a CMV for a period of not less than one year.
  • A second conviction will cost you: Although the penalties for a first time DUI conviction are very serious, a second conviction is even more severe. If a CDL holder receives a second DUI either while operating a CMV or while operating a normal passenger vehicle, the holder will receive a lifetime ban from operating a CMV. In certain circumstances the Secretary of Revenue has the power to reduce the ban to a period of not less than 10 years.
  • You cannot avoid the consequences of a possible DUI by declining alcohol testing: Often the advice to motorists who are pulled over for suspicion of DUI is to decline taking a breath test or other form of alcohol testing. However, CMV operators who are required to hold a CDL are deemed to have consented to alcohol testing. Therefore, if a CDL holder refuses to submit to alcohol testing the refusal will result in the same consequences had he or she failed the alcohol test or a DUI conviction.

If you are the holder of a commercial driver’s license and have been charged with DUI, it is imperative that you contact a seasoned DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Charles E. Whitman has over three decades of experience helping clients protect their rights and obtaining the best possible outcomes on their behalf. The team of professionals at the Whitman Law Offices understand that a DUI conviction for a CDL holder has serious consequences. Call us today at (785) 843-9460 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation. Trust the attorneys at the Whitman Law Offices to provide you with superior legal services.

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