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How DUII Laws Differ if You Have a Commercial Drivers License

DUI laws for commerical drivers license in Oregon

We’ve talked a lot about the penalities and what happens when you get a DUI in Oregon, but you may not know that the laws differ for persons holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL). A CDL differs from a normal driver’s license, as it qualifies the driver to operate commercial motor vehicles such as buses and semi-trucks. There are three different classes of CDL’s in Oregon — A, B and C — depending on the weight being transported, the number of passengers and whether or not the material being moved is hazardous.

DUI Laws for CDL Holders

DUI laws for CDL holders include stricter penalties. As a CDL holder, if you fail or refuse a breath test after an arrest for a DUI, an Implied Consent driver’s license suspension will also impact your CDL. In Oregon, DUI laws for CDLs include variation for administrative suspensions and criminal suspensions.

Administrative CDL Suspensions:

  • BAC failure is .04 or greater. A non-commercial driver’s license holder fails with a BAC of .08 or higher, which means BAC is half that of a non-commercial driver.
  • Blood, Urine or Blood Test refusal results in a  3-year CDL suspension with no eligibility for a hardship permit.
  • Blood, Urine or Blood Test refusal while transporting hazardous material results in a 5-year CDL suspension with no eligibility for a hardship permit.
  • BAC failure results in a 1-year CDL administrative suspension with no eligibility for a hardship permit.
  • With a prior DUI, BAC failure increases to a 3-year suspension without eligibility for a hardship permit.
  • BAC failure when transporting hazardous materials results in a lifetime suspension with no eligibility for a hardship permit.

Criminal CDL Suspensions:

  • First conviction for DUI results in a 1-year CDL suspension with no eligibility for a hardship permit.
  • First conviction while transporting hazardous material results in a 3-year CDL suspension without eligibility for a hardship permit.
  • Second or subsequent convictions result in a lifetime suspension of your CDL with no eligibility for a hardship permit.

Either an administrative or criminal suspension will result in a CDL suspension if you’re convicted of a DUI in Oregon. Additionally, if you otherwise would have qualified for Oregon’s DUI Diversion Program, receiving a DUI when you have a CDL renders you ineligible.

Common Questions About CDL DUI Laws

What if you were driving your personal vehicle during the time of the DUI? Does that affect your CDL?

Yes. If you are driving your personal vehicle at the time of the DUI, it still disqualifies you from participating in Oregon’s DUI Diversion Program if you have a CDL. You will still lose your commercial driving privileges

Can you apply for a hardship permit if you get a DUI and you have a CDL?

CDL holders are denied the option to apply for a hardship permit, which would otherwise allow you to continue working despite having a suspended license. A regular hardship permit may be obtained, but not for commercial driving privileges.

If you refuse to submit to a BAC test will your CDL be suspended?

Yes. If you refuse a BAC test, your CDL can be suspended for 3 years based on the Implied Consent laws. If an officer suspects you are driving under the influence, refusing a sobriety test could also lead to the suspension of your CDL.

Hire A DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been convicted or suspected or a DUI in Oregon and you hold a CDL, your privileges could be at risk and you won’t qualify for a hardship permit. If your career and livelihood depend on your CDL, it’s important to find a Bend DUI defense attorney to help defend your case. Contact Nelson Law for a free consultation if you have been arrest for a DUI in Oregon and you have a CDL.

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Comments (4)

I have cdl if I get a regular hardship permit how dose that effect my cdl after the year suspension? Do I have to retake test and driving test? What the best way for me to go.

Hi Chuck,

Thank you for reaching out! My best advice is to contact the DMV directly about your driving situation because only the DMV can tell you what they will require you to do.


Ricky R. Nelson

Does a blood test have to be a forensic test instead of a hospital draw for treatment in the case of cld driver driving personal vehicle and having an accident.

Do you service Gillian County by chance? I’m currently facing a DUI charge in a commercial vehicle among other charges. My arraignment is scheduled for November 4th at 1. I reside in Northwest Washington and this is the first time I have ever been in trouble with the law. I’m 32 years old and my livelihood very much depends on me having my CDL to make a living

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