A CDL or Professional License, DUI Pennsylvania Law

DUI With A CDL In Pennsylvania

What happens when a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Holder or other Professional License Holder is Charged with DUI in Pennsylvania.

Any person who is facing DUI charges is going to feel stressed and frightened for their future. It is an ordeal that can turn your life upside down.

Add to that the possibility of losing your livelihood – or a professional license you worked years to achieve and the situation becomes even direr.

A DUI conviction means the possibility of jail time, fines, and the loss of your driver’s license. However, in cases where the perpetrator is a licensed professional or has a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), a conviction can be a career-ender and cause permanent damage to their reputation and career.

In such cases, having an experienced and aggressive DUI attorney is crucial – not only to protect your rights and preserve your freedom, but also a profession you worked so hard to achieve.

This is your life. You have rights.

A tough and experienced Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer can help explain your rights, your options and the best way to move forward with your life. Beating DUI charges in PA is possible.

If you would like more specific information regarding your DUI case, Pittsburgh DUI Attorney Christopher Thomas FREE legal case evaluation: 412-765-3345.

It is Possible to Win against a DUI in Court.

Dui With A Cdl Or Professional License In Pennsylvania

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    Dui With A Cdl – Bac Level

    For the average driver to be charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania they have to have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08% or higher. Those with a CDL are held to a much higher standard.

    The legal limit for a driver with a CDL is .02% BAC. Anything over .02% (one drink only) could mean losing your license.

    In PA, there is a three tier penalty system based on BAC levels. If you are arrested and have a BAC of .04% or higher, you will be placed in the Highest Impairment Tier. For a school bus driver, a BAC of .02% or higher will have you placed in the Highest Impairment Tier.

    A BAC level of .02% is about the equivalence of a single beer – and it could ruin your life.

    Perhaps most importantly, it does not matter if you are in a commercial vehicle or your personal vehicle at the time of arrest – the punishment is the same for CDL holders.


    A DUI conviction for a person with a CDL has very serious consequences. Those drivers with a CDL are held to a higher standard and thus, are punished severely when they fail to uphold that standard.

    For a first offense DUI, a CDL holder can receive the following penalties:

    • Two days to six months in jail
    • Fines from $500 – $5,000
    • Automatic one-year CDL disqualification
    • 12-month license suspension

    For a second offense DUI, a CDL holder can receive the following penalties:

    • One month to six months in jail
    • Fines from $750 – $5,000
    • CDL Disqualification for LIFE
    • 12-month license suspension

    If your BAC is high enough to place you in the Highest Impairment Tier, you face the following penalties:

    • Up to five years in jail
    • Fines up to $10,000
    • 18-month license suspension

    It is important to note that if your DUI occurred in a commercial vehicle, you face an additional one-year loss of your CDL. If you were also transporting hazardous chemicals, you face an additional three-year loss of your CDL. In addition, participating in a diversion program such as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) does not affect your CDL being taken away.

    These punishments do not include the problems you may have obtaining personal and professional insurance. A DUI on your permanent record can make insurance either incredibly expensive, or impossible to obtain.

    As little as a single beer has the potential to end your career. If you have a CDL and have been arrested for a DUI, you must contact a knowledgeable and aggressive DUI attorney immediately. With your freedom, reputation and job at risk, there is too much at stake not to fight.

    Consequences Of A Dui For Licensed Professionals In Pennsylvania

    In many cases, licensed professionals have worked for years to obtain the education and experience necessary to build their careers. Unfortunately, just one DUI has the potential to end the hard-earned career of a licensed professional in PA.

    Many professional licensing boards require their members to disclose a DUI when applying for, or renewing, a license. Some such professionals include:

    • Doctors: A physician in PA must appear before a medical board hearing where his/her fitness to practice medicine will be assessed. A DUI can cause a loss of your medical license.
    • Dentists: DUIs must be reported to the PA State Board of Dentistry who will decide the consequences.
    • Lawyers: Attorneys must report a DUI conviction to the Supreme Court of PA’s Disciplinary Board. A DUI could put an attorney at risk of losing their license.
    • Nurses: DUIs, pleas and participation in ARD all must be reported to the PA State Board of Nursing upon renewal of their license. The Board will determine any disciplinary action.
    • Pilots: Those convicted of a DUI must report to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as well as the Civil Action Security Division within 60 days. If the DUI is not reported, it is cause for suspension or revocation of a pilot’s license.
    • EMTs: A DUI conviction is required to be reported to the PA Department of Health within 30 days and consequences, including suspension or revocation, will be determined.

    These professional disciplinary standards extend to a number of professions and licensing boards. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney will be able to guide you through DUI court as well as any disciplinary board hearings and help you protect your license – and the career you have worked so hard to build.

    Learn more about winning a DUI case in PA.

    Pittsburgh DUI Attorneys – How We Can Help

    Our DUI attorneys believe that people are inherently good. Lots of people make mistakes and some are falsely accused. A harsh punishment, such as losing your career and your livelihood, is rarely productive for anyone involved.

    Our aggressive and compassionate attorneys are here to guide you through a difficult time.

    Call Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer Christopher Thomas for a free legal evaluation of your case.

    An experienced Criminal Lawyer Thomas is here to answer your questions, listen to your situation, explain your rights and offer the best steps to defending your rights, protecting your career and getting your future on track.

    Tell Us Your Stories and Ask Us Your Questions

    Call 412-765-3345 for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys are available by phone, email or in-person.

    SMT Legal attorneys believe in aggressively representing our clients while maintaining the personal compassion needed when counseling clients through difficult situations and navigating a complex legal system. Contact us today.

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