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DUI & Commercial Drivers (CDL)

CDL Disqualification

The penalties for a DUI or Physical Control arrest and subsequent conviction are particularly severe if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). If you have a CDL, the following disqualification rules apply if you were arrested while driving a commercial vehicle:

  • 1-year disqualification for a first offense with an alcohol test result of .04% or more (3 years if you were carrying hazardous materials)
  • Lifetime disqualification for a subsequent driving a commercial vehicle with an alcohol test result of .04% or more

If you were arrested for DUI, Physical Control, or Driver Under 21 Consuming Alcohol while driving a personal (non-commercial) vehicle, or you refused to take a blood alcohol or breath test and you do not request an administrative hearing:

  • For a first-time refusal or DUI, Physical Control, or Driver Under 21 Consuming Alcohol arrest, 1-year disqualification
  • For a subsequent refusal or DUI, Physical Control, or Driver Under 21 Consuming Alcohol arrest, lifetime disqualification

If you have a CDL from another state, DOL will report disqualification in Washington to the state that issued your license, and that state may suspend, revoke, or disqualify your CDL privileges, depending on that state’s laws.

Special requalification procedures apply if DOL disqualifies your CDL privileges and you need to get them back. Click here to learn more about how to get your CDL privileges back after disqualification. Even if the period of disqualification has passed, you must still follow these steps to get your CDL privileges back before driving.

In order to avoid a disqualification, you will need to both prevail in your criminal case and win your administrative hearing. In order to achieve this outcome, you will need to team up with a seasoned Washington DUI attorney who understands both the legal and technical challenges that could overcome the DOL’s case against you.

“Tough DUI Laws Require Tough DUI Lawyers”

Linda M. Callahan

CDL Employer Drug & Alcohol Testing

  • Employers of commercial drivers are required to have in place a testing program for drugs and alcohol that complies with federal law.
  • Providing a positive alcohol or drug test as a part of such a testing program may result in a lengthy period of disqualification.
  • The disqualification will be for at least one year and may even be longer.
  • Lifetime disqualification will result if a commercial driver has three positive results in a five-year period.
  • A refusal to take a test at the employer’s direction will also result in disqualification.

In either case, a commercial driver has the right to a hearing to challenge the disqualification and a subsequent appeal to the superior court if he or she does not win the hearing.

  • There is a deadline to request a DOL hearing to challenge the disqualification.
  • Because of the serious nature of a positive drug or alcohol test or refusal and the intricacy of the issues involved in the administrative hearing, it is important to discuss your case with a qualified Washington DUI lawyer to find out how to protect your commercial driver’s license and your livelihood.

At Callahan Law, P.S., Inc., our experienced Washington DOL hearing attorneys are ready and waiting to explain your options to you during a free case evaluation.

Please call our office today at (206) 866-6739 to get started.

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DUI Case Results

**Updated 08/03/2023**

DUI's Reduced
9 0 %
DUI's Dismissed
DUI's > Neg 1
DUI's > Reckless Driving
DOL Hearings Won

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