Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Illinois is an offense anyone can be arrested and charged with – regardless of your license classification. Most Illinois drivers hold a D license, permitting the driving of passenger vehicles and/or trucks under a specific weight limit.
What if you are charged with a DUI on your D license, but you want to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in the future? Can you still obtain a CDL or are you permanently banned?
How Will a DUI Affect my CDL?
You can still obtain a CDL in Illinois even after being charged with a DUI on your D license. Being charged with a DUI isn’t the end of your eligibility for CDL classification. When you are charged with a DUI in Illinois, there are several outcomes, which may include: court supervision, conditional discharge or a conviction, a reduction in the charge, dismissal or not guilty. The outcome can determine when you can obtain a CDL, but the actual charge should not disqualify you from obtaining a CDL.
In Illinois if you are charged with a DUI, there are consequences to your driver’s license. If it is your first offense, you will be offered the opportunity to submit to chemical testing so the arresting officer can determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Consequences of Refusing Chemical Testing
If you are asked, you have the right to refuse or to submit to testing. Your decision to consent or refuse testing can have consequences to your driving eligibility. A refusal for a first-time offender will result in a suspension of your driver’s license for 12 months, which takes effect 46 days after your refusal. This is outlined in the Warnings to Motorist, which is required to be read to you prior to asking whether you wish to submit to chemical testing. If you submit to testing and blow over the legal limit of .08 or if you are found to have illicit drugs in your blood, you will face a 6-month suspension of your driver’s license. This suspension is known as a Statutory Summary Suspension. Before you can obtain a CDL, this suspension must be completed, and your driving privileges must be reinstated.
When it comes to your eligibility to obtain a CDL, the status of your driver’s license is of the utmost importance. In Illinois, the Secretary of State outlines the requirements to obtain a CDL or to transfer your CDL to Illinois. A full list of the requirements can be found at https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/drivers_license/CDL/cdl.html#require.
CDL Eligibility Requirements
The basic eligibility requirement to get a CDL is you are 18 and older to operate in Illinois, and 21 and older to operate both within and outside of Illinois, and to possess a valid driver’s license. If you have been charged with a DUI and received a statutory summary suspension resulting, your supervision must be complete and resolved prior to obtaining your CDL.
You will need to attend classes, pay fees and complete tests for your CDL, but as far as baseline requirements, the link above provides that information. And, as previously mentioned, nowhere does it explicitly state you cannot have a DUI in your background.
Other Things to Consider
There may be other obstacles to consider before trying to obtain a CDL with a DUI in your background, such as employment because trucking companies must be able to insure those individuals. CDL drivers with a DUI on their record are considered a high-risk driver and therefore, become more expensive to insure. When it comes to DUIs and CDL drivers, here is a link to various company policies. While this list is not exhaustive, it gives a baseline idea of difficulties you’ll face finding employment. https://www.truckingtruth.com/wiki/topic-55/trucking-company-policies-on-drivers-with-dui-dwi#less5
For these reasons, it is highly recommended you obtaining pre-employment letters prior to attending CDL classes and training.
As you can see, you can still obtain your CDL, even if you have a DUI in your background. However, it will be more difficult finding an employer to hire you, due to increased insurance premiums.
Contact Driver Defense Team Today
If you have been charged with a DUI and want to discuss your options, you should consult with one of the Chicago DUI attorneys at Driver Defense Team. We’re available for a free consolation six days a week. Call 312-940-833.
Blog written by Attorney Chris Dionne. Learn more about Chris here.