CDL Licenses and DUI Laws in Louisiana

CDL Licenses and DUI Laws in Louisiana

In the event an offender is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in Louisiana, the case will involve two separate tracks: the criminal track and the administrative track. The criminal track entails matters like fines, possible jail time, and other penalties; the administrative track involves licensing and suspension of driving privileges.

The operation of a commercial vehicle requires specialized training. This special training is accompanied with increased responsibility. Federal and state laws hold drivers with CDL licenses to a higher standard than civilian drivers. Louisiana adheres to the federal CDL guidelines in instances of arrests, conviction, and sentencing.

What are the penalties for a DUI with a CDL?

The consequences for a DUI conviction vary depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your arrest, such as the type of cargo you were carrying at the time of the stop. Even off duty drivers could still be disqualified in the event of a conviction.

First time offenders:

  • Your CDL will be disqualified for a minimum of one year if:
    • Your BAC results show a .04% or above
    • You refuse to submit to the BAC test
  • In the event hazardous materials were transported at the time of arrest, your CDL could be disqualified for three years.

  • Your CDL could be disqualified indefinitely if:
  • You receive a second DUI conviction
  • You are convicted for driving under the influence of drugs
  • A commercial motor vehicle is used in the commission of a felony involving the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance
  • You are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident

  • In certain circumstances, reinstatement of your CDL could be possible even after a lifetime disqualification. Reinstatement for these drivers is possible after a period of ten years. However, the use of a commercial vehicle in the commission of a drug felony, will result in a lifetime disqualification with no possibility of reinstatement.

    Administrative Hearings for Refused BAC Tests

    Refusal to submit to a BAC test at the time of your arrest will likely result in your CDL being taken at the scene. A temporary license will be granted until an administrative hearing is held. Even if the criminal court drops the charges against you, your commercial driving privileges could still be lost at an administrative hearing. This hearing should be requested immediately after the arrest, or you may face the automatic suspension of your CDL. This request must be in writing and must be postmarked or received by the Office of Motor Vehicles within 30 days.

    Administrative hearings for CDL licenses differ from those held for regular drivers. The offender is required to present facts and evidence to challenge the suspension of your license. This can include questioning the validity of the arrest; whether there was a warning by law enforcement of the consequences of your arrest; if a BAC test was submitted or refused and what the results were; and other relevant matters.

    How to Reinstate Your CDL After Disqualification

    To reinstate your license after it has been disqualified, you must:

  • Pay all court fees and fines;
  • Submit documentation showing compliance with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles;
  • Pay the reinstatement fee;
  • Meet the State's SR-22 requirement; and,
  • Complete any state-assigned courses or other requirements.
  • Contact Attorney Ebonee Norris

    If you've been charged with driving under the influence as a commercial vehicle driver, the consequences of a conviction are severe. It is vital that you not take any chances. Don't attempt to navigate the criminal or administrative track without the assistance of an experienced criminal attorney.

    Turn to Attorney Ebonee Norris and her experienced team for help. The law firm will do all they can to prevent your license from being disqualified. If your license has already been lost, we may assist you in obtaining them again in the future. Remember that time is of the essence to protect your license, so contact us as soon as possible.

    To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case, call us at (318) 771-7000 or reach out to us online today.