Most of us would like to think that the events in our personal lives should remain separate from our work lives. Unfortunately, when it comes to driving under the influence charges (DUIs) in Arizona, a conviction could cost you your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and job, if you’re a heavy machinery operator or truck driver.

Understanding the repercussions of a DUI

Many construction workers are required to have a CDL in order to haul equipment to job sites, move debris and transport materials. Arizona is considered a ‘no-tolerance’ state for DUI charges. Even if you’re pulled over with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than 0.08, the legal limit, you can still be charged with a DUI.

  • A person with a prior DUI (regardless of the state the conviction is in) can still get their CDL, though they would have to finish the term of their license suspension.
  • If a driver applies for a CDL while their license is suspended, their application will be rejected.
  • A driver will most likely have to mention their DUI in their CDL application. This requirement stands no matter how long ago the conviction occured and could lead to an application rejection.
  • A first-time DUI conviction could result in a year-long CDL suspension.
  • A second DUI could lead to a lifetime CDL suspension, even if the driver’s first conviction occurred before getting their CDL.
  • If the DUI occurs on the job, a conviction while driving a commercial vehicle often means elevated fines and penalties compared to a DUI in a passenger vehicle.

Working for a better future

If you’re charged with a DUI, the outcome could cause you to lose your job and jeopardize future employment. Anyone facing this charge needs to contact an attorney experienced in criminal defense cases involving DUIs.