Anyone with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Kansas faces severe consequences if convicted of driving under the influence. Stricter laws apply to professional drivers operating a taxi, a truck, or other commercial vehicle. In fact, you can lose your CDL even if you were not operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the DUI.
Drivers with a CDL convicted of operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol could have their CDL suspended for at least one year on the first offense, and for their entire lifetime for a second offense. These same license penalties against a CDL apply to the administrative action against the driver’s license, as well.
CDL holders should also be advised that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits are much lower for them when they are driving their commercial vehicle. Operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 —the rough equivalent of 8 ounces of beer or one ounce of liquor consumed within an hour for someone weighing 200 pounds — is enough to be charged with a crime.
Anyone who holds a CDL should therefore exercise sound judgment before getting behind the wheel after drinking. They should also exercise their right to hire an experienced Kansas DUI lawyer when facing impaired driving charges.
First Offense DUI Charges for Kansas CDL Drivers
According to Kansas Statute §8-2,144, anyone operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 or more within three hours of driving time will be charged with a class B, nonperson misdemeanor for their first offense.
Convictions for this offense carry a sentence of between 48 consecutive hours and six months’ imprisonment. Kansas Statute §8-2,142 provides that their CDL will be suspended for one year for a first-time driving a commercial vehicle under the influence.
Those who refused to take a breathalyzer test will have their license suspended for at least three years as part of the State of Kansas’ implied consent rules.
On top of these laws, anyone convicted of a felony while operating a commercial vehicle will automatically lose their commercial license for life.
Kansas CDL DUI Second Offense Charges
CDL holders convicted of a second driving under the influence offense will be charged with a Class A, nonperson misdemeanor. They will be ordered to serve between 90 days and one year in prison. They will also face a fine of between $1,250 and 1,750 in addition to court fees.
Additionally, they will have their commercial driver’s license revoked for life. In fact, the CDL can and will be revoked for life if you get a traditional DUI in a NON-commercial vehicle. So, even if CDL holders are arrested during their vacation in their own personal vehicle, they can lose their ability to operate a commercial vehicle if it is a second conviction.
A Kansas DUI Lawyer Can Help You Fight Charges
The severe criminal weight of a CDL impaired driving conviction would mean significant setbacks for those who must work on the road to earn a living. Just one violation means a year off of work and difficulty finding a job. Two convictions mean that their livelihood as they know it is gone.
Even more concerning, diversion actions that avoid trials or sentencing for impaired driving charges are illegal for CDL holders. In other words, there is no hope for keeping your license unless you fight and win your case.
If facing DUI as a commercial driver’s license holder, protect your way of life. Exercise your right to defend against charges — or possibly even have them dropped — with the help of a Kansas DUI lawyer.