Can I Get A CDL With A DUI On My Record In Ohio?

Can I Get A CDL With A DUI On My Record In Ohio? To most of the drivers, being in possession of a CDL is a form of livelihood. Therefore, if there is a problem with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles then it directly affects the CDL license. The fact is, if you are convicted for an OVI, this can deny you a chance of getting a CDL in Ohio – this is because the OBMV has records of your previous convictions.

Most of the serious consequences affect those who are in ownership of a CDL and at the same time commit a DUI. The level of DUI conviction will also be used to determine if you qualify for a CDL. However, if you are an OVI first offender, chances of getting a CDL are high, but chances of getting a company to hire you are inversely proportional. Most of the truck companies are reluctant when hiring drivers, so they look into your past records.

Think about it, you have the skills and knowledge of operating CMVs but you cannot be able to pay your mortgage or feed your family. It is so devastating that even if you are not operating a commercial vehicle, any OVI / DUI conviction with another type of vehicle can affect your eligibility to apply for a CDL. These yearly suspensions are enough to destroy a person’s career and livelihood

What you should know about commercial driver license?

The federal government requires Ohio to have minimum standards for the licensing of commercial drivers, for this case it is important to be aware of some of the relevant CDL information. In order for you to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in Ohio, you have to be in possession of a commercial driver license (CDL). To determine if you require a CDL, you will have to match the descriptions of your vehicle to the three classes of CMV: These are Class A, Class B, and Class C.

A class A vehicle is a vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) or 26001 pounds or more, provided that the towed vehicle(s) has 10000 pounds excess in GVWR. A class B CMV is any vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26001 pounds or more. Lastly, a class C vehicle is one that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers with the driver included or any sized vehicle transporting hazardous materials or materials listed as a select agent or toxin in a placardable quantity. There are cases where a vehicle can appear in both classes like a bus.

To become a professional driver in the truck industry, you should take a truck driver training class or program which is different from the CDL formal training. Before you get your CDL, you will be required to go through a formal training. You must pass all the knowledge and skills to verify that you can safely drive a large commercial vehicle.

Knowledge Tests Skill Tests
General knowledge Vehicle inspection
Passenger transport air brakes Basic vehicle control
Combination vehicles On road test
Hazardous materials
Tank vehicle
School bus
Doubles /triple s

Ohio bureau of motor vehicles will require information about the type of commercial motor vehicle you intend to drive using the CDL. When you want to apply, renew, upgrade or transfer a CDL permit, you will have to submit documents like a medical certificate. You have to specify if your driving business is an interstate commerce (operating between two states) or intrastate commerce (operating within a state). You will be required to define your status as either expected or non-expected Inter/Intrastate commerce driving.

Implied consent law in Ohio

When you operate a CMV in Ohio , you consent to alcohol testing. It is illegal to drive a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.4% or more. Your CDL will be disqualified if you drive under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, fail to take chemical tests, commit a felony , causing a fatality through negligence , leaving the scene of an accident and driving a CMV when your CDL is suspended.

1st offence 2nd offence
CDL suspension 1 year / 3 years (hazardous material ) Life

If the arresting officer finds that your BAC is below 0.4% or any amount of alcohol detected in your system, then you will be put out of service for 24 hours. If you are under controlled substances and you use a CMV to commit a felony, then consider that you won’t be using your CDL for life; there is no reinstatement when a felony is committed.

Your CDL may be affected when you commit traffic violation when driving a personal vehicle. If the violation if major, the second time offender has is eligible for reinstatement under certain conditions after 10 years. Therefore, you cannot drive a commercial vehicle without a CDL. If you are caught, this is a serious offence which might cost you a fine of up to $5000 and a jail sentence. If you are planning to get a CDL in Ohio with a DUI then you should know about the traffic violation rules in your personal vehicle.

According to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA), a CDL holder is disqualified from driving a CMV if he or she has been convicted of certain types of moving violations while driving his or her personal vehicle. When your privilege to drive a personal vehicle has been revoked, suspended or cancelled due to violations of traffic control laws, the your CDL privileges will directly be affected.

Personal vehicle revoked/suspended First offence Second offence
CDL suspension 1 year Life

At times, you may be required to use a hardship license in such conditions, but if your privilege to operate a personal vehicle is denied then you are not eligible for this alternative license.

What you should know about Ohio DUI/OVI

Since 1982, Driving under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Impaired (DWI) in Ohio used to be referred as Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired (OMVI). After the OHIO laws considered vehicles, not a must to be motorized then the acronym was shortened to OVI- Operating a Vehicle Impaired. The word vehicle is now used to refer to horse-drawn carriages, bicycles and among others.

A 21-year-old or above driver is not allowed to drive any vehicle if his or her breath alcohol content (Br AC) and Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is .08 or more. You will be committing an OVI if the level of alcohol concentration in your breath or in your blood is described by that figure. The coincidence in the amount of alcohol in both the breath and blood test has not been approved by scientists and toxicologists.

The legal limit for alcohol concentration for a driver under the age of 21 is .03 for blood serum or plasma, .02 for breath or blood, and .028 for urine. It is easy to reach the legal limit with a few alcoholic drinks. The legal limit for a urine test is .11 or greater. The state of Ohio considers urine test as the valid procedure of determining alcohol content. The legal limit for a blood serum or plasma sample is .096. All the tests are completed in accordance with the Department of Health rules. Inaccurate results may be obtained if the blood testing procedures were not done properly.

It is always important to learn about the penalties that are imposed when an individual is convicted of OVI. There are two levels of convictions that a judge may handle in your OVI case: imposed minimum and maximum sentences, which depend on the nature of the offense. These types of sentences increase with each conviction if they happen within a period of 6 years.

OVI First offense Second offence Third offence
License suspension 6 months – 3 years 5 years 2 years -10 years
Fine $375 – $1,075 $525 – $1,625 $850 – $2,750
Incarceration 3 days – 180 days 10 days -180 days 30 days -1 year

The secondary and additional penalties are classified under OVI felonies; these attract severe penalties. These secondary penalties may affect your professional licensing, education, employment and military records. The DUI/OVI conviction cannot be expunged or sealed: it is a permanent record. Other penalties associated with OVI include:

  • Yellow license plates
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Vehicle immobilization or forfeiture
  • Secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring (SCRAM)
  • Higher auto insurance rates and premiums
  • License reinstatement fee
  • Inclusion in the DUI Habitual Offender Registry (repeat DUI/OVI convictions)

OMV contest in court

If you choose to contest an OVI case, then you would require a good DUI lawyer who can identify weak points in the evidence that is provided and negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce these charges on your behalf. If your lawyer is good enough, these DUI/OVI charges can be reduced, amended and completely dismissed.

This is what happens when the arresting officer decides to arrest you for OVI: The officer will service you with a traffic ticket which contains all the codes and offenses that you are charged. The notice will include an Administrative License Suspension Report and summons- if you fail to take the necessary chemical test; the summons gives you the details of your court hearing. When you fail to appear the court will issue a warrant for arrest on you.

The court hearing

The arraignment in court should be within 5 business days after the arrest. In court, you have the choice of pleading guilty or not guilty based on the advice you might have received from your attorney. By pleading not guilty means that you have also appealed to the Administrative License Suspension. The next court hearing, which appears within 30 days from you arrest is the pretrial hearing.  This is an opportunity for your lawyers to talk about the case with the prosecuting attorney. Your lawyers will then file motions to suppress evidence obtained from the field sobriety tests and the statements you said while in custody.

If your case is not resolved in the pretrial hearing it will be scheduled for a trial .if you are found guilty the judge will hold a sentence hearing. In this hearing, your attorney will plead on your behalf to get the penalties lessened. The judge later decides what sentence to impose on your case. Your lawyers experience in these cases is your only way out.

License Suspensions

The Administrative License Suspensions (A.L.S.) is different from license suspensions imposed by the courts; it is imposed immediately by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles after if you refuse to submit to the chemical test. The Ohio “implied consent” law is responsible for this type of license suspension. It also applies to anyone incapable of refusing the test such as an unconscious or dead person.

If you refuse to consent to a chemical test, then the arresting officer will use whatever reasonable means necessary to ensure that you submit to a blood test, even if it is obtaining  a search warrant to draw your blood involuntarily or without one.

If you follow carefully you will discover that, if you are found guilty of OVI you will be facing two separate kinds of license suspensions: an Administrative License Suspension (for refusing chemical test or testing above the state legal limits) and the court suspension (imposed after pleading guilty to an OVI case). The type of limited driving privileges authorized on each of the suspension will depend on the offender’s court-ordered treatment, occupation, license examination, vocation, medical condition, and education.

In addition to the limited driving privileges, you will have to comply with conditions such as using an ignition interlock device, obtaining yellow license plates (restricted license plates) and a Secure Remote Alcohol Monitoring device (S.C.R.A.M.). The ignition interlock device is a mechanism that is installed in a vehicle that determines if the car will start when you blow into it; it measures the quantity of alcohol in your breath.

On the other hand, S.C.R.A.M. is an ankle bracelet that measures the quantity of alcohol at the surface of your skin through the interaction of a fuel cell in the bracelet with alcohol in your sweat. The bracelet performs a continuous assessment of your alcohol levels and communicates wirelessly with a nearby modem.

Table for Refusal of Chemical Test under the Administrative License Suspensions

Number of Refusals or Convictions in 6 years 1st offence 2nd offence 3rd offence 4th or more offences
Length Of Suspension 1 year 2 year 3 years 5 years
Waiting period for driving privileges 30  days 90 days 1 year 3 years

Table for Test Result at or Over Prohibited Concentration under the Administrative License Suspensions

Number of convictions in 6 years 1st offence 2nd offence 3rd offence 4th or more offences
Length Of Suspension 90 days 1 year 2 years 3 years
Waiting period for driving privileges 15 days 45 days 180 days 3 years

Final account

Due to the nature of CDL operating conditions, the requirements are held to higher standards. Any form of negligence or violation of the traffic laws can endanger a lot of people as compared to a personal vehicle. The Ohio Rev. Code 4506.15 prohibits CDL drivers from operating a commercial motor vehicle with any measurable or detectable amount of alcohol or drugs, if you cannot abide by these terms chances are you will not fare well in the trucking industry.

If you have a desire to obtain a CDL in Ohio with a DUI, then you should seek help from the authority (OBMV) responsible for CDL in Ohio with a DUI. Select Insurance Group deals with DUI drivers who need liability insurance services. We are selling high risk driving SR22/FR44/SR50/SR22A Insurance in the United States. No other company can match our service and quality products. If you have any questions, please contact us for clarifications.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call: (855) 438-7353. One of our licensed agents will help you right away.