The laws concerning commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and alcohol-related arrests are very harsh. They are in accordance with the federal directives that cover the issue. In Oklahoma, the law is codified in 47 OS § 6-205.2.
DPS shall disqualify any person from operating a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than one year upon a conviction of, guilty plea to (even if it’s a deferred sentence) or no contest plea to:
- Driving, operating, or being in actual physical control of a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle while having a blood or breath alcohol concentration 0.04 or more;
- Refusing to submit to a test for determination of alcohol concentration while operating a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle, or if the person is the holder of a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle; or
- Driving or being in actual physical control of a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance or the combined influence of alcohol and any other intoxicating substance, or if the person is the holder of a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle.
The subsection lists six other disqualifying offenses that are not related to DUI. Note that you can be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle even if you got a DUI in a non-commercial vehicle. Also, note that the DUI threshold for driving a commercial motor vehicle is 0.04 BAC. If you receive a second conviction for any of those above offenses, then you will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.
For example, if you have a DUI and then you get another DUI, whether you were in a commercial vehicle or not, then you have a lifetime disqualification to have a commercial driver’s license. Something to keep in mind with a commercial driver’s license is the definition of conviction. This is different than the definition used in other statutes. A conviction for purposes of disqualification of driving privileges for a CDL includes any plea of guilty or no contest. Bottom line is that if you have a commercial driver’s license and you plead guilty or no contest and receive a deferred sentence, even if it gets dismissed after the probationary period, then you’re considered to have a conviction for purposes of disqualification from driving a commercial motor vehicle.
How Difficult Are CDL DUI Cases?
There’s a lot at stake, so if a favorable outcome can’t be negotiated, then trial is a good option. This is because you can fight all charges at trial, and it’s possible to win. The harsh aspect of this law is the treating a plea to a deferred sentence as a conviction, as if the individual received an actual conviction. Therefore, you can’t just plead somebody with a commercial driver’s license to a deferred sentence, because the CDL will be revoked for at least one year. And the second DUI will result in a lifetime revocation. A prosecutor who is unwilling to amend changes to reckless driving or better makes the decision to go to trial much easier.
47 OS § 6-205.2 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=440142
For more information on Commercial Vehicle DUI in Oklahoma, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.