DUI With Commercial Driver's License

Phoenix Lawyer for Drunk Driving Defense

Many drivers with commercial driver’s licenses work within the transportation economy in Arizona. Even those with prior DUI convictions may be able to obtain a commercial driver’s license once they’ve completed a license suspension. If you get a DUI with a commercial driver’s license, your job may be at stake, and a seasoned Phoenix DUI attorney can help you develop a defense. James E. Novak is a former prosecutor who may be able to represent you and help you protect your future.

DUI With Commercial Driver’s License

In Arizona, the ordinary legal limit to be able to drive is .08%. You can be convicted of a DUI if you operate a car with a blood alcohol content level of .08%, but if your blood alcohol content while driving a car is lower than that, the prosecutor will need to show you were impaired while driving. However, commercial drivers are expected to be more careful. The legal limit permitted when driving a commercial vehicle is .04%.

There are three classes of commercial driver’s licenses. With a Class A license, you can drive a combination vehicle with a gross combination weight rating that is 26,001 pounds or more when the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle being towed is more 10,001 pounds or more. Drivers who possess a Class A commercial driver’s license may also operate all trucks included in Classes B, C, and D. Class B licenses allow you to drive a single or combination vehicle if the gross combination weight rating is 26,001 pounds or more. Drivers with Class B licenses with the right endorsements can lawfully operate vehicles in Classes C or D. Class C licenses allow a driver to operate a single vehicle that is designed to move 16 or more passengers or materials determined to be dangerous for purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. Class D licenses permit commercial transportation of private passengers.

A first offense DUI conviction can result in a year-long suspension of your commercial driver’s license regardless of whether the DUI arrest occurred in connection with driving a commercial vehicle or a personal vehicle such as a car. Your ordinary driver’s license will also be suspended for 30-90 days. You’ll be incarcerated and need to go through probation and mandatory alcohol counseling.

A second offense DUI can result in a commercial driver’s license suspension for life. This is the case even when a first DUI conviction happened before a driver obtained a commercial driver’s license, and the second one occurred afterward. DUI law applies to all commercial license holders regardless of the class of commercial license.


A commercial license DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor. For a conviction, you may lose your commercial driver’s license for 90 days, and this can make it challenging for you to get insurance. The penalties can include driver’s license points and probation, as well as fines. DUI charges that result in injuries or that relate to multiple DUIs can carry even more significant penalties.

There is not much room for traffic violations, especially DUIs, if you hold a commercial driver’s license and have a trucking or other commercial driving employer. A DUI can alter the trajectory of your whole career; sometimes employers fire employees for getting a single DUI on their driving record.

Accordingly, if you are a commercial driver facing DUI charges, it is advisable to retain an experienced attorney who can explore all potential defenses. Usually, there are multiple angles to a DUI case. For example, it may be possible to get certain evidence suppressed based on whether the police had reasonable suspicion to pull you over or probable cause to arrest you.

Seasoned DUI Defense Attorney Serving the Phoenix Area

If you are concerned about a Phoenix DUI with commercial driver’s license, you can talk to a dedicated criminal defense lawyer. Mr. Novak defends clients facing DUI charges in and around the Phoenix area, including in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and throughout Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact us via our online form.

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